May 22, 2003 at 11:10 PM CDT - Updated June 20 at 4:32 PM
Governor Cuts Corrections Officers By: Arnold Wyrick
Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is wrestling with a $5 billion dollar deficit. Now the Governor is taking a swing with a sharp axe at the Illinois Department of Corrections, and he's cutting out an entire layer of personnel in the prison system. More then 200 hundred captains throughout the state received their lay off notices at the end of their shifts this week. The cuts are estimated to save the state more then 18 million dollars in wages. But Captain Kevin Becker at the Pinckneyville Correctional Center says that the cuts may end up costing the public more then the Governor is bargaining for. " I believe that if the Governor knew what our jobs were, and the level of security that is being proposed to be lost, I don't think he'd make this decision," says Captain.... Becker a 23 year veteran of the IDOC. " I've got two children that I was planning on putting through college with my career, and I have a wife. It's going to be hard," Captain. Becker said. He's also worried about what will happen to the people who've worked with him over the years, once he leaves. They're concerned too. " They're the first ones on the scene, a lot of times they're the first ones there making decisions. And without them your going to loose a vital chain of command," says Lieutenant. Keith Hubler at the Pinckneyville Correctional Center. Both men say the cost could result in an uncontrollable situation. " It could jeopardize the overall security of the institution, as far as escapes, and uprisings within the institution," says Captain. Becker. " If that situation gets out of hand it could carry over from inside these fences or inside these walls, and into the public," Lieutenant. Hubler said. The layoffs take effect on June 30th.