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IDOC grilled over audit with 46 repeat findings

Thursday, Sep 22, 2022 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* WGEM

State auditors found 60 issues within IDOC during the two-year audit ending June 30, 2020. Yet, 46 of those issues were repeated findings from previous audits.

Auditor General Frank Mautino said his office had to wait months to receive the required paperwork from IDOC.

“There’s no reason for four letters from me,” Mautino said. “There is no reason for those types of delays when a normal FOIA request would be answered in five days.”

[IDOC Director Rob Jeffreys] explained that IDOC did not have a chief internal auditor during most of the auditing period. Although, the agency hired someone to fill that role and provide documents to the state in a timely manner as requested. Mautino hopes the agency will be able to come into compliance before the next audit is finished.

“You would not have had 60 findings in this round had we not had to give exceptions for information that we didn’t have,” Mautino said.

* The Center Square

One of the issues discussed was focused on guard safety. State Rep. Tony McCombie, R-Savanna, asked questions about specific incidents inside the department.

“We have had issues of inmates throwing human waste, urine, on guards,” McCombie said. “What is the DOC doing to one, stop these problems and two, help us put a legislative fix to that?”

IDOC Chief of Operations Justin Hammers said the safety of their guards is a top priority and that they are making changes to the buildings to prevent further incidents.

“Currently, we are doing some construction where we have modified the boxes we put over their food ports that is open to pass stuff to prevent any further opportunities for this to happen,” Hammers said.

* WAND

State Senator Jason Barrickman, (R) Bloomington, and the Director of the Illinois Department of Corrections, Rob Jeffreys, clashed Wednesday over the handling of an inmate move in February.

Citing a consolidation of resources Jeffreys had dozens of inmates moved from prisons in Pontiac and Vandalia due to a lack of staff. That move touched off rumors and fears the two facilities would be closed economically crushing the small communities.

Barrickman complained Jeffreys had committed to go to Pontiac to explain what happened. Jeffreys stated he would go to Pontiac for a job fair to hire new employees. […]

IDOC says it currently has 1,100 job vacancies within the department.

* Back to WGEM

Commission Chair Fred Crespo (D-Downers Grove) said he hopes something productive comes out of the conversation Wednesday to help hire more employees and address the future of the Pontiac facility. Meanwhile, Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) said Jeffreys has to understand that lawmakers speak on behalf of taxpayers.

“Sometimes we can ask tough questions and sometimes we’re gonna ask heated questions. But the bottom line is, we have the authority to ask those questions on behalf of the people we represent,” Rose said. “The way the interaction occurred with Sen. Barickman is unbelievable to me. You, I, he - all of us - serve the taxpayers. And he has a right to ask any questions that he wants to ask. Frankly, sir, you should go and speak to the taxpayers as well.”

* AP

A report Tuesday by a state inspector general found that an Illinois prison system administrator improperly ordered the hiring of a family member for a Department of Corrections position that was never authorized.

Larry Sims, the agency’s southern region investigations commander, received a 30-day suspension after the Office of the Executive Inspector General for the Agencies of the Illinois Governor. It found he had designated a relative be hired as an intelligence officer even though that person hadn’t applied and someone else had already been chosen.

The review also found that Corrections has for years manipulated hiring for the post of intelligence officer — there are 80 currently on staff and historically, 268 have had the job. Officials deemed the position an extension of the position of prison guard.

But the inspector’s report found that most appointments weren’t temporary. And its duties differ substantially from that of correctional officer, qualifying it as a separate position improperly created. Openings were not advertised and candidates were typically recruited.

       

12 Comments »
  1. - Pete Mitchell - Thursday, Sep 22, 22 @ 10:12 am:

    Added; the period that the audit took place was in the middle of covid.


  2. - halving_fun - Thursday, Sep 22, 22 @ 10:22 am:

    all that oversight
    so effective
    burning that midnight oil i see
    lol


  3. - Donnie Elgin - Thursday, Sep 22, 22 @ 10:35 am:

    Auditor General Frank Mautino is a busy man. His office pointed out the sorry state of these offices. IDOC did not have a chief internal auditor, and the State Treasurer had inadequate Internal controls. Do better


  4. - Southern Dude - Thursday, Sep 22, 22 @ 10:50 am:

    —- The review also found that Corrections has for years manipulated hiring for the post of intelligence officer —-

    One would think AFSCME would be fighting this instead of the OIG


  5. - Southern Dude - Thursday, Sep 22, 22 @ 11:22 am:

    —-Added; the period that the audit took place was in the middle of covid——
    DOC staff were not allowed to work from home during Covid, they were on grounds to gather documents.

    Chief Internal Auditor is an appointed position. They can put anyone there they want. Weak excuses for the findings.


  6. - Anyone Remember - Thursday, Sep 22, 22 @ 11:54 am:

    There was a time (pre-ERI) when some agencies under the governor had no audit findings … a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.


  7. - Ridgelander - Thursday, Sep 22, 22 @ 11:56 am:

    —intelligence officer

    You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.


  8. - Give Us Barabbas - Thursday, Sep 22, 22 @ 12:11 pm:

    IDOC definitely has an internal culture that is highly resistant to change. Tremendous cultural inertia, and a particular mindset about the very nature of its core purpose: warehousing and punishment, versus reforming. I’m not sure changing Directors can change that. It’s a cultural version of the “deep state” trope, and makes the department resistant to progressive reforms. That sensibility colors all their hiring and staffing as well, and the influence of their union/benevolent societies, in a perpetual feedback loop that distills and magnified that culture. The entire staff of the agency carries this mindset or world view as a core principle and belief, from what I see, and only outside advocacy and inspection organizations have any effect at all on it. It’s an “us vs. the world” kind of club they built, with personal loyalties ranked above rules, and if you don’t subscribe to that view, you don’t last long there.


  9. - NotNotAStateEmployee - Thursday, Sep 22, 22 @ 2:21 pm:

    Barabbas, all correct points.

    I will add that IDOC has a strong promote-from-within culture, even if the person up for promotion is not qualified for the job, or lacks significant real world aptitude if formally qualified. And good luck hiring from the outside for the warden and assistant warden positions at the facilities — who would want to step into that role with every lieutenant and major hating your guts?


  10. - DHS Drone - Thursday, Sep 22, 22 @ 2:44 pm:

    “One would think AFSCME would be fighting this instead of the OIG”

    Reading the report, AFSCME endorsed this as a ‘detail’ even though this did not fit the definitions of ‘detail’ in the contract.

    This was just a way for management to reward plum jobs to favorites. Plenty of CO’s would love to get CO pay while not doing any CO duties.


  11. - Lincoln Lad - Thursday, Sep 22, 22 @ 5:30 pm:

    Note to JB… You have to have people in place to oversee and direct the agencies. It’s part of the job, and your tier of Deputy Governors are not doing it. Not here, not at DCFS, not at the Tollway…


  12. - Powerhouse Prowler - Thursday, Sep 22, 22 @ 7:06 pm:

    Give Us Barabbas, that should be the IDOC mission statement.


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