Employee Services consists of three functions: Central Screening, Drug Screening and Background Information.
The Central Screening Office is responsible for the testing and hiring of correctional officer and juvenile justice specialist trainee applicants. The office ensures the availability of eligible applicants from which an institution can draw from when hiring. A crucial function of the office’s statewide-certified screeners is teamwork. The group of employees emphasizes professionalism, dedication, determination and pride.
The Drug Screen Unit is responsible for conducting random and follow-up drug tests of employees and trainees. The unit coordinates the drug screening of applicants and volunteers and maintains all statistical data relating to the drug testing of employees, applicants, volunteers and trainees. Drug Screening personnel strive to make the drug testing procedure comfortable for all involved, yet professional and confidential. The dedication to this and the respect given to the employees being tested promotes harmony throughout the process.
The Background Investigations Unit is responsible for conducting investigations into the backgrounds of all department employees, applicants, contractual employees, volunteers, student workers, outside workers and tour groups. It also runs quarterly updates on all correctional officer trainee/youth supervisor trainee applicants on the eligibility list, ensuring their eligibility is still valid. For employees who are required to carry a weapon, the unit runs annual background investigations to ensure departmentally issued weapons authorization cards are kept current.
A complete background consists of checking drivers’ licenses, FOID cards, full criminal history checks, Offender and Visitor Tracking System/Juvenile Tracking System information, written and telephone inquiries for dispositions, police reports, military backgrounds and employment reference checks.
After the background check has been completed, files are then reviewed to determine if the applicant requires an administrative review. Issues that require an administrative review are employed relative/close associate, former/current employee, former/current volunteer, incarcerated relative/close associate, suitability issues and convictions. Suitability issues can include, but are not limited to, falsification issues, contact with law enforcement, job discharges, negative employment history, inmate visits/correspondence, security threat group affiliation and military issues. The administrative review is then submitted for review to the chief of operations and the director. Former employees are also submitted to the Central Personnel office manager for review. The Background Investigations Unit is then responsible for notifying the institutions of applicants’ eligibility based on the results of the administrative review and also corresponds to applicants’ inquiries regarding their background investigation results should they be determined not eligible through an administrative review.
The Background Investigations Unit coordinator acts as the Law Enforcement Agency Data System (LEADS) administration coordinator for the Illinois State Police regarding policy and procedures for the LEADS program at Concordia Court. The Backgrounds Investigations Unit, Transfer Coordinator’s Office and the Operations Center are the locations where the LEADS program is operated. The LEADS administration coordinator ensures all LEADS terminals in these areas are operational and that staff is certified to operate the LEADS program.
The Background Investigations Unit is responsible for updating current employee information on the Arrest Tracking System. New criminal history is obtained by this unit either by fingerprint card responses received from Illinois State Police and the FBI or by the employee’s own admission. This information is added to the employee’s record as new arrest data on the Arrest Tracking System.