The head of Illinois’ prison system does not sound as if he is overwhelmed by the prison head count: “The concern starts at the front, and we have no control over the front – who comes in. We have control of who leaves. 120 on sentence credit have been released. Another 150 to 170 have been released on electronic detention – 300, potentially, is one cell block,” Tony Godinez said.
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“We are every bit as concerned as the union is. Please bear in mind the closure of the two facilities (Tamms and Dwight) increased our staff ratios at the other prisons.” Godinez, who said he is still investigating a reported assault on an employee at the prison in Danville, spoke to reporters after the Illinois Department of Corrections’ annual ceremony to honor and remember correctional officers. Joseph Jennings of the Western Correctional Center in Mount Sterling was named the correctional officer of the year, and David Dierking of Illinois Youth Center Pere Marquette in Grafton (pictured) was named juvenile justice specialist of the year. Also receiving awards: Jacquelyn Greenwood, women and family services correctional officer of the year; Eric Harris, parole agent of the year; and Jacqueline Raguay, aftercare specialist of the year.