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And frankly for staff too. The issue of sentencing credits has long vexed state officials. A previous version of the program was suspended in by then-Gov.

Pat Quinn after reports that some inmates convicted of armed robbery and battery were released after only a few weeks behind bars. In , after a revised version of the program was reinstated, Gov. Senators on both sides of the aisle supported the bill. Michael Connelly, R-Naperville, another sponsor of the bill, lauded Rauner in a statement on his website for passing the bill and enacting a change he saw as necessary. Legislators were cautious about criticizing the slow implementation.

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He was imprisoned for eight months for a minor drug offense, and was housed in a cell at the Logan Correctional Center in Lincoln with a gang member serving 22 years for armed robbery. 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 federal judge has granted class-action status to a lawsuit brought by deaf inmates alleging the Illinois Department of Corrections violates their civil rights.

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The complaint, first filed in , 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. But prison reformers who worked with Gov. 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.

Baldwin spent eight years as the head of the Iowa Department of Corrections before retiring in January.

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She says she worked with Baldwin in Iowa. The complaint says about 23 hundred people in Illinois prisons are in solitary on any given day -- and that many of those people are there for very minor infractions. Ben Wolf is with the American Civil Liberties Union, which is involved in multiple lawsuits over Illinois prison conditions. He says the next prison chief should be an advocate for reform.

Illinois Department of Corrections officials say they still do not know when they will have enough beds to care for prisoners with mental illnesses. The new director of Illinois prisons says union contracts are the source of many problems within the state Department of Corrections. Prisons chief Donald Stolworthy wrote in a memo to Gov. In documents, Stolworthy says overtime costs skyrocketed in recent years. Union spokesman Anders Lindall says overtime problems result from a lack of staff.

The Illinois Department of Corrections is still investigating how an inmate escaped from the Vandalia Correctional Center last week.

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Investigators talked with more than people to determine how Marcus Battice broke out of the minimum-security facility. Corrections spokesman Tom Shaer says that'll continue for a while; anyone in contact with Battice in the weeks leading up to his escape must be interviewed. The department has concluded it does NOT need to change what it does to prevent escapes. 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. Listen Live. Illinois Department of Corrections. LEE V. Illinois lawmakers want to eliminate medical co-pays for prisoners. Google Maps. A new report suggests a third of the deaths in Illinois prisons are preventable. Listen to Lee Gaines' report on the lack of funding for books and educational materials in state prisons. The man's attorneys announced the settlement of his federal lawsuit Friday.

The lawsuit says his cellmate raped him in August