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Illinois Pays More Than $60 Million In Overtime For Prisons

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(CBS) — The Illinois Department of Corrections paid $60 million in overtime for the second year in the row.

The department blames unexpected retirements of its guards and the un-freezing of the overtime pay rate for its soaring payroll costs.

“We expected 762 for the past fiscal year we got 912, so that additional 150 retirees that is a lot of people to replace,” said spokesman Tom Shaer.

Illinois Pays More Than $60 Million In Overtime For Prisons

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Shaer says the number of overtime hours did drop.

“Overtime hours in the Department of Corrections have dropped 12 percent from the last fiscal year. The total dollars dropped only a few million dollars which is not what we had hoped for,” said Shaer.

He says they are working to rectify the problem.

“Next week’s graduation class of cadets and the class that will begin in August and in the fall we will have hundreds of new cadets,” Shaer said.

Some of those newly trained guards will be on the job by next Friday.