John Howard Association

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

Illinois prison officials have moved the last 36 inmates of a Stateville Correctional Center roundhouse that a Chicago-based watchdog group deemed unfit for humans to live in. Illinois Department of Corrections officials say the maximum-security F House at Stateville in Crest Hill, which housed 348 male inmates, is closed. The Chicago Sun-Times reports no other U.S. prison has kept roundhouses in which jail cells circle a watchtower in the middle of the building. The John Howard Association,...

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....

Hiring Process Makes Illinois Prisons Unsafe

Oct 30, 2015
flickr user / Michael Coghlan "Prison Bars" (CC BY-SA 2.0)

A new report says the state’s broken hiring process is making Illinois prisons less safe. You might not think of staffing levels as the key issue for Illinois’ troubled prison system, but a new report says otherwise. It undermines public safety, prevents inmates from getting essential services and increases state spending through overtime. The report is from the prison watchdog John Howard Association. Jennifer Vollen-Katz says it can take months to replace a departing worker. In the meantime...

John Howard Association of Illinois

A watchdog group says whoever wins the race for governor will face difficult choices about Illinois’ prisons. The group is laying out what it’s calling a “roadmap” for overhauling crime and punishment — and wants to know where the candidates stand. The non-partisan John Howard Association says decades of “tough on crime” policies have led Illinois to lock up 49,000 people in a system designed to hold 32,000. Association Director John Maki, no relation, says unless Illinois starts getting that...

Illinois prisons will soon offer video visitations for inmates. A watchdog says it could be beneficial. But it has concerns about how the trend is playing out in county jails.

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