SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - An e-mail from an Illinois Department of Corrections administrator ordered wardens at 10 prisons to conduct "mass shakedowns" of staff as they left work last week.<br />
The July 19 memo obtained by The Associated Press is from Ty Bates - Corrections' southern region deputy director. It was sent at the same time a dozen workers testified in a Springfield hearing on prison overcrowding and understaffing.<br />
The department had previously denied any retaliation for workers speaking out but didn't comment on whether the searches were a coordinated effort. The department had no immediate comment on the newly obtained email.<br />
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.