Dixon Correctional workers also searched
Union chief says only 'petty stuff' confiscated
DIXON – The local union president at Dixon Correctional Center confirmed Tuesday that prison employees leaving work last week were searched for contraband as part of what he called a statewide “shakedown” of employees initiated by IDOC’s top brass.
Rick Ruthart of Sterling, president of AFSCME Local 817, said Tuesday that he, much like other union officials, believes the unannounced searches were done in retaliation for employees who have spoken out about overcrowding and other safety concerns at state prisons.
“If [the Illinois Department of Corrections] is concerned about stuff coming into the facility, they are not going to shake down people coming out,” he said. “They just wanted to put pressure on the staff and put the message out there that they don’t want you talking to the press.”
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