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Illinois prisons overtime costs top $60M again

Published: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 3:31 p.m. CST

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Department of Corrections has paid over $60 million in overtime costs for the second year in a row.

The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises reports Monday that officials predicted last spring that overtime costs would drop in the budget year that ended June 30.

Authorities are blaming unanticipated retirements by correctional guards and a rise in payroll costs tied to a contract agreement signed 18 months ago.

Corrections Spokesman Tom Shaer says hours worked last year dropped 12 percent.

Anders Lindall is spokesman for the guards' union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. He says Corrections has "too many inmates and not enough staff."

The agency has struggled with overtime as its employment rolls has shrunk and inmate population grown.

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