October 31, 2012

Gov. Quinn’s Half-Measures on Prison Openness

After months and months of requests from media outlets, Illinois Gov. Quinn is finally allowing reporters into prisons. It is a step in the right direction, but it took the threat of a federal lawsuit. Still, Quinn’s administration continues to throw up roadblocks to meaningful transparency.


October 26, 2012

Gov. Quinn to Allow Prison Tours

News reporters can expect tours of Illinois prisons. Gov. Pat Quinn’s Administration appears to be changing its tune on allowing reporters inside state prisons. 


October 26, 2012

Gov. Quinn to Allow Prison Tours

News reporters can expect tours of Illinois prisons. Gov. Pat Quinn’s Administration appears to be changing its tune on allowing reporters inside state prisons. 


September 23, 2012

Illinois Supreme Court to Expand Cameras in Courtrooms

On Monday, the Illinois Supreme Court will enter orders to allow cameras in both the first judicial circuit in the southern part of the state and the 18th circuit, which is outside of Chicago.  


September 22, 2012

Big Ten, Dish Networks Reach Agreement

Good news came early Saturday morning for fans of the Fighting Illini and other conference teams. The Big Ten Network has finalized a new agreement with DISH Network, which returns Big Ten games to the satellite TV service.


August 21, 2012

Illinois AG’s Office Sides with News-Gazette in FOIA Request

The Illinois Attorney General’s office is once again siding with the News-Gazette in Champaign in its request for information from citizen complaints about Champaign police conduct. But their opinion released August 16th is a non-binding one, which does not require compliance.


August 21, 2012

Chief Judge: Cook Co. Readying for Court Cameras

Cook County's chief judge says his court system should be ready to introduce cameras in courtrooms by the end of the year, although Illinois Supreme Court officials say there's no specific timetable for putting them in place.


August 10, 2012

Former Inmates Not Surprised Quinn Keeping Reporters Out of Prisons

Inmates recently released from prisons in Illinois say they're not surprised that Gov. Pat Quinn won't let reporters in to see conditions.

Chris Clingingsmith just completed seven years behind bars for driving drunk. He lost his wife, his house, his cars and his motorbike, but he’s glad he got caught when he did because he would have been in a much worse situation than he’s in now if he had stayed on the streets and hurt someone.

He said prison isn't supposed to be fun, but the Vandalia prison doesn’t meet even basic standards. He said he wouldn't even house a dog in the kind of conditions men are enduring in basements at the minimum security institution.

Chicago Public Radio has been asking to visit the prison for several months, but Gov. Pat Quinn has said no.

“They don't want you to see firsthand what we're telling you,” Clingingsmith said. “I have no reason to lie.  I'm not in there anymore so they can't do anything to me.  If you walked in there, I'm not going to exaggerate, you would probably just go wow, they actually house people in these areas.  You would be amazed.  You would think that's above and beyond punishment.”

Clingingsmith said a lot of the men housed at Vandalia are getting very mad. Clingingsmith said the lawmakers who oversee the prisons need to get to Vandalia so they know what’s going on.

Gov. Quinn said he wants to look into the conditions at some of Illinois' minimum-security prisons. A watchdog group and former inmates have reported deplorable conditions at the prisons in Vienna and Vandalia.

Those reports indicate some areas were overrun with rats and roaches, and men slept in rooms that flooded every time it rained. But despite repeated requests, Quinn says he won’t let reporters in to see the conditions firsthand.

"Yeah, well I don't believe in that. I think that it's important that -- when it comes to our security of our prisons, I go with the correctional office -- the director that I have at the Department of Corrections. Security comes first and it isn't a country club," Quinn said.

Quinn said he will look into the conditions, and would only say if reforms are needed. He wants to be sure they're done "properly."

Quinn is currently working on closing some prisons, but the union representing workers opposes those closures, saying overcrowding will get worse.

Illinois spends more than a billion dollars a year on prisons.


April 29, 2011

StoryCorps’ David Isay on the Importance of Keeping Traditions Alive

David Isay is an award-winning public radio producer who has dedicated his career to preserving oral storytelling. Isay is the founder of the series StoryCorps, which can be heard every Friday on NPR's Morning Edition. StoryCorps gives people the opportunity to interview their loved ones. Illinois Public Media's Sean Powers spoke with Isay about the art of storytelling and an effort at an elementary school in Champaign to include the StoryCorps model in the classroom.


Page 27 of 28 pages ‹ First  < 25 26 27 28 >