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By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Stacey Solano
Illinois authorities took the unusual step of searching guards and other prison employees for contraband as they left at least seven facilities last week, sparking worker allegations that the checks may have been reprisals for complaints about overcrowding and understaffing and inside information leaked to the news media, workers and union officials told the Associated Press.
"The department has full authority to search employees whenever it chooses ... to ensure that employees are not participating in the movement or introduction of contraband inside the facilities," Solano said. "IDOC is vigilant in keeping contraband out of the facilities, and this is one such measure the department is taking to ensure safety and security inside the prisons."
Department of Corrections spokeswoman Stacey Solano would not confirm that the searches had intensified, but she said they are a routine security measure to control banned materials from cellphones to weapons.