Rauner Administration Plans to Replace Tower Guards with Cameras at IL Prisons

Mar 22, 2017

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner wants to replace guards in prison watchtowers with security cameras. It's an effort to cut down on overtime costs for the cash-strapped state.

Department of Corrections spokeswoman Nicole Wilson says officials expect to save $4 million annually. She says no security officers will be laid off.        

Rauner spokeswoman Eleni Demertzis says savings will come from reduced overtime and "more efficient management.''       

An official with the union that represents corrections workers says officials have discussed new technology. He says the union remains concerned about safety for staff, inmates and the public.       

Cameras would be installed at 23 state minimum- and medium-security prisons.        

Michigan and Pennsylvania stopped full-time tower staffing with beefed up electronic security in the past decade. Wisconsin recently reduced overnight tower staffing.