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Quinn wants to hire more DOC staff

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor Quinn wants to hire more workers for the Department of Corrections, but critics say his request comes at a bad time.
SPRINGFIELD -- Governor Quinn wants to hire more workers for the Department of Corrections, but critics say his request comes at a bad time. WCIA-3's Brittany Harris has more.

"It was understaffed then, and it's nothing like it is now."

Mike Bell would know. He retired from DOC a few years ago.

"They're running at 150% capacity, and the safety of those officers in those facilities is just incredible. It's at stake. I'm really concerned about their safety as anybody should be."

He says the state needs to bring in more workers and not just for safety reasons. He says it would also help cut down on all the overtime.

"You get ready to go home, I've seen it many times, and you can't because there's not enough help, so you stay over for an extra shift. It's just staggering. That's happening all the time."

Quinn knows how bad it's getting. That's why he's working to hire extra staff. But, he faces opposition at the Capitol.

"There's only "X" amount of money. The pie, where are you going to get that piece of the pie? That piece may already be dedicated to something else, so what are you going to cut to make that happen?"

It's a question lawmakers are also asking. They say the state is strapped for cash and can't afford to hire anyone else right now.

"I don't know the Governor's thinking on this. That's the best I can tell you. It makes me nervous, but I don't understand why he's doing it."

The governor's representatives say they know it's a tough request, but say DOC has to fill old vacancies. A big group of workers retired last year and their positions haven't been filled.
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