The $60 million price tag for 2013 overtime filed for employees of Illinois' prison system is drawing scrutiny. The Illinois Department of Corrections says the time-and-a-half pay is necessary when guards and other workers call in sick or are on leaves of absence, but union officials maintain a longtime belief it's symptomatic of an understaffed and overcrowded prison system. One 2013 incident at a maximum security prison concerned prison officials. During five consecutive work shifts during the New Year's holiday, there were 407 calls for employees reporting that they couldn't show up to Stateville Correctional Center. Each sick call meant a substitute had to be hired on overtime. That time period led to $83,400 more in overtime.
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