An email from an Illinois Department of Corrections administrator ordered wardens at 10 prisons to conduct ``mass shakedowns'' of staff as they left work last week. The July 19 memo obtained by The Associated Press is from Ty Bates, the department's southern region deputy director. It was sent on the same day that a dozen workers testified at the state Capitol during a hearing on prison overcrowding and understaffing. The department had no immediate comment on the newly obtained email. The agency had previously denied any retaliation for workers speaking out but didn't comment on whether the searches were a coordinated effort. Employees and their union told the AP that prison guards and others went through unusual end-of-shift pat downs for illegal materials at facilities around the state.
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