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Operations Division

John Eilers ​| Chief of Operations

John Eilers was named Chief of the Operations Division on March 30, 2019. In this position, he is responsible for the overall operations of adult male institutions. Prior to his most recent appointment, Eilers served as Deputy Director of the Central District.


A veteran employee of the Illinois Department of Corrections, Eilers began his career as a correctional officer at Western Illinois Correctional Center in April 1993. While at that facility, he was promoted to the rank of sergeant and lieutenant, working in a variety of positions that included Shift Commander/Relief Shift Commander, Internal Audit Control Officer and Critical Incident Command Post Coordinator. In 2005, Eilers was named the Training Coordinator for Western Illinois Correctional Center and the Clayton Work Camp. In this capacity, Eilers oversaw the training of all employees of the facility. He served as the Facility’s Range Master and maintained numerous instructor certifications. He also served as a Facility Hostage Negotiator for 18 years. In November 2015, he was named the Statewide Security Specialist for IDOC. In this position, he monitored IDOC’s extremely high, high and moderate escape risk offenders. He also organized, prepared and conducted security reviews, critical incident reviews, roster reviews, and drills and systems checks at IDOC facilities ensuring policies and procedures were being followed and facilities were maintaining safety and security of the offender population. In addition, Eilers oversaw the Statewide Weapons Task Force.



In April 2000, Eilers became one of IDOC’s Liaisons to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency where he was responsible for coordinating statewide IDOC assistance to communities that were affected by natural disasters/emergencies. Eilers has worked closely with other state agency partners in drafting and implementing emergency response plans. He continues to serve as a Liaison to IEMA and is a member of the State of Illinois Strategic National Stockpile Team and serves as a voting member of the Illinois Terrorism Task Force. Eilers received his Professional Development Series Certification from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency in 2011.



Eilers received a Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration from Western Illinois University in 1992.