Illinois Department of Corrections

An Illinois prison spokeswoman says an assault on six workers by five inmates at the maximum-security Pontiac Correctional Center appears to have resulted from a failure to follow workplace safety procedures.

Illinois Department of Corrections spokeswoman Nicole Wilson said Monday that the agency's investigation of the incident will include looking into why procedures weren't followed and how future incidents can be prevented.

A new measure would force people to get state IDs when they’re released from the Illinois Department of Corrections.

It took Deangelo Hampton two months to get an ID after he was released from prison.

“They talking about you can use your jail stuff to get state IDs, that’s just a lie,” Hampton said. “We went through a lot.”

The state doesn’t allow prisoners to use their release papers to prove their identity. Many former prisoners don’t have their birth certificate or social security card.

Flickr user Tim (Timothy) Pearce / "Prison cell with bed inside Alcatraz main building san francisco california" (CC BY 2.0)

A federal judge has granted class-action status to a lawsuit brought by deaf inmates alleging the Illinois Department of Corrections violates their civil rights.

The complaint, first filed in 2011, claims deaf and partially deaf prisoners have limited access to sign language interpreters, hearing aids and other accommodations.

Attorneys say the result is exclusion because the prisoners can't communicate. That means effectively missing religious services, court-mandated classes, medical visits and in some cases, emergency evacuations.

flickr user / Michael Coghlan "Prison Bars" (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The State of Illinois is suing a former prisoner for more than $100,000 to cover the cost of her own incarceration. 

In a lawsuit filed last week, the state puts the cost of Yolanda Fondren’s prison time for attempted armed violence at about $23,000 per year.

And it says they believe Fondren has a bank account with at least $200,000 in it.

Illinois’s prison watchdog, the John Howard Association, says the new leader of state prisons needs to increase transparency.

But prison reformers who worked with Gov. Bruce Rauner’s pick to lead the agency say openness isn’t John Baldwin's strong suit.

Baldwin led Iowa’s Department of Corrections before he was appointed in Illinois.

Johnie Hammond, a former state lawmaker who served two terms on the Iowa prison board, said she would give Baldwin "mixed reviews" in general but negative reviews on transparency.