A recent article by George Pawlaczyk talked about prison overtime. As I walked in on a Monday morning, five vans left with inmates going to court. When inside, I asked how many were on the road? The officers said it was nine court writs and five medical. This would set 28 guards on the road. Night staff were working in 13 posts to cover the shortage.
Another detriment to staffing has been weather. Icy roads and snowstorms made it impossible to drive to work.
Since the closing of Tamms Correctional Center, staff assaults have risen to an all-time high. Overcrowding that would have been relieved with the Thompson prison opening and without closing Dwight prison would have helped.
The state has overpopulated the prisons and listed a false maximum capacity. They now include gymnasium floor space as housing. This, I'm sure, is to make lawmakers seem justified in closing and overpopulating the crumbling structures used now.
I have worked in corrections for more than 28 years and it has never been more dangerous than now. I work at Dixon Correctional Center (till my April 30 retirement).
Barry K. Ogden