Inmates Share Concerns About State Prison Conditions

Mar 28, 2013

The agency that runs Illinois prisons has more inmates than it has room for 50,000 in a system built for 33,000. The Illinois Department of Corrections--says it will house more inmates in prison gymnasiums.

Credit Robert Wildeboer / WBEZ

Many of the people crowding into the facilities are not all the hardened criminals you see on T.V. 

 Illinois taxpayers are paying a private healthcare company more than $1.3 billion over ten years to provide care for inmates in prisons. And the State of Illinois doesn’t seem to have any mechanism to ensure that taxpayers aren’t being fleeced in the health care deal.

Over the last few weeks the Illinois Department of Corrections has been moving 600 men into gymnasiums across the state where they’re now living. It’s the latest sign of the overcrowding problem facing the prisons -- but it’s something the public will not see. That’s because Illinois Governor Pat Quinn refuses to let cameras in the facilities to document conditions.