Illinois Department of Corrections | WGLT

Illinois Department of Corrections

Michael Coghlan / Creative Commons

The leader of the independent oversight organization for Illinois prisons says the state is in "uncharted territory" as the Department of Corrections works on starting in-person visits again.

Outside a prison
Staff / WGLT

Within a month, Illinois prisons will be allowing in-person visitation again.

Settlement Permits Release Of Up To 1,200 State Prisoners

Mar 25, 2021
 Logan Correctional Center
Seth Perlman / AP

The Illinois Department of Corrections and a number of elderly and medically vulnerable prisoners seeking early release from state prisons due to COVID-19 reached a settlement Tuesday in a lawsuit brought by the inmates against the department.

Prison bars

The Illinois Department of Corrections had adopted its first standardized policy for inmates held in segregation, with a focus on limiting the number of prisoners removed from general population for years at a time.

Prison bars
Michael Coghlan / Flickr

A $15 million fine, plus weekly fines of $1 million, should be levied against the Illinois Department of Corrections for its failure to provide adequate care to mentally ill inmates, lawyers for inmates said in a motion filed Tuesday in federal court in Peoria.

Woman seated in front of a book cae with her hand on her chest
Colleen Reynolds / WGLT

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken an emotional toll on many, including single fathers and dads who don’t have full-time custody of their children. However, the leader of a state commission to provide positive involvement by both parents in their children’s lives says men have risen to the occasion.

Appellate Court: Pritzker Has Authority To Set Inmate Transfer Protocols

Aug 26, 2020
Kankakee County Sheriff Mike Downey
Capitol News Illinois file photo

A state appellate court has temporarily halted a Logan County court order that required state prisons to accept inmates from county jails.

McLean County Jail
Eric Stock / WGLT

Five McLean County jail inmates are among scores of defendants whose court-ordered transfer to a state mental health facility has been delayed because of COVID-19.

Miss_Millions / Creative Commons

Sex offenders who have completed their sentences but are still being held in Illinois prisons should be released as part of the effort to reduce the state’s prison population during the COVID-19 crisis, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court.

Deanne speaks
Edith Brady-Lunny / WGLT

For the 99,000 women incarcerated in U.S. prisons, the path to the criminal justice system is littered with broken relationships, physical and sexual abuse, and addiction.

The staff and inmates at Illinois' largest women's prison agree the facility is "falling apart," "neglected" and "unsanitary."

The deteriorating physical condition is one of the key findings of a new report from the independent prison watchdog John Howard Association on the Logan Correctional Center in central Illinois.


When she found out that staff at the Danville Correctional Center had removed more than 200 books from a library inside the prison’s education wing, Rebecca Ginsburg said she felt a pit in her stomach.


Johnny Page saw something as a child that no young person should ever see.

“I witnessed my cousin being killed when I was maybe six, seven-years-old,” he said. Page said he was traumatized by the experience. He said he was overcome by a need to protect his family and friends. He became a fighter.  

Illinois lawmakers are moving to give judges more discretion in sentencing people convicted of certain crimes.

Three defendants
Illinois State Police

Three correctional officers at Pontiac prison face criminal charges after allegedly injuring an inmate earlier this month, authorities said Wednesday.

Illinois could save millions of dollars on incarceration costs if the federal ban on Pell Grants for inmates was lifted, according to a new report from the Vera Institute of Justice. Pell Grants are awarded to low-income undergraduate students to help them pay for college.

Ashoor Rasho has spent more than half of his life alone in a prison cell—22 to 24 hours a day. The cell was so narrow he could reach his arms out and touch both walls at once.

Illinois prison inmates will continue to pay $5 for medical and dental visits, after the legislature tried and failed to get rid of the fee last week.

Prison reform advocates want to eliminate the co-pay, saying it deters inmates from seeking necessary treatment. An Illinois Department of Corrections spokeswoman emphasized that no one is denied care for not being able to pay.  

The effort to get rid of the co-pay comes at a time when medical care in the correctional system is under scrutiny due to a class-action lawsuit in federal court.

Every Sunday, a group of women meets in the basement of a church in Chicago’s Ravenswood neighborhood to sort and package boxes of books. The boxes are sent to women in prisons in Illinois and beyond the state’s borders. In total, the group, Chicago Books to Women in Prison (BWP), has sent nearly 20,000 books to incarcerated women in the last five years, and tens of thousands since the organization was founded in 2002.

Community Summit Offers Hope For Ex-Offenders

Apr 3, 2018
Judith Valente / WGLT

Hundreds of McLean County residents on parole or probation attended a fair Tuesday at the Salvation Army, offering advice on jobs, housing, health insurance, counseling services and how to get a criminal record expunged.

Facebook / Governor's Office

Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation to change the climate for women in Illinois prisons.

Seth Perlman / The Associated Press

The labor union representing Illinois prison guards says assaults on staff are way up, and state officials aren’t doing enough about it.

Pontiac Prison Employees Protest Work Conditions

Aug 26, 2016
Michael Hill / WGLT

People honked their horns to show their support as they passed a demonstration in front of the Pontiac Correctional Center. Organizers estimated that more than 100 protesters, including people from around the state and members of AFSCME Local 494, held up signs and shouted demands for increased safety and input on policies and procedures.