SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — The Illinois Department of Corrections is looking for ways to increase the number of female prison guards.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Conway reports, the Decatur Herald-Review reported Sunday that the Department of Corrections is seeking to increase female and minority recruitment within the department.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Conway reports

The state operates all female-prisons in Lincoln, Decatur and Dwight.

But Corrections Department spokeswoman Stacey Solano says female guards are critical at both male and female prisons.
The announcement comes after a recent report by the Chicago-based John Howard Association on the Dwight Correctional Center. The group said that it received reports of inappropriate behavior by male correctional officers at the prison, including physically aggressive and sexually suggestive actions.

The watchdog group’s report claims that “inmates expressed distress over lack of privacy.”

Corrections officials say the ratio of male to female guards throughout Illinois’ prison system is currently about 5.4 men to 1 woman.

Exactly what steps might be taken to hire more female guards has not been spelled out.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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