Vicki White, president of Chicago Books to Women in Prison, reads a letter sent from an incarcerated woman. She is standing in a room lined with bookcases and book shelves full of books.
Lee V. Gaines / Illinois Newsroom
April 16, 2018

Illinois Prison System Spent Less Than $300 On Books Last Year

Last year, the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) spent $276 on books for its educational programming across 28 correctional facilities, according to data obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. In the early 2000s, however, the state prison system spent roughly $750,000 each year on books. The dramatic decrease in funding stands in contrast to research that shows educational programming for inmates can significantly impact recidivism rates. Prison librarians, academics and a former Illinois inmate all agree that prison libraries play an important role in that work. 

The Abbott Power Plant on the University of Illinois campus in Champaign on March 6.
Darrell Hoemann/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting
April 16, 2018

Illinois Environmental Agency Suffers Deep Staff Cuts

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has slashed its staff almost in half over the past 15 years, resulting in less monitoring of environmental health and safety throughout the state.

A surface-to-air missile lit up the sky in Damascus early Saturday morning after President Trump announced airstrikes would be launched to deter the Syrian government for allegedly using chemical weapons.
Hassan Ammar/AP
April 15, 2018

Debates Ensue After Western Missiles Hit Syria

The U.S., France and the U.K. targeted chemical weapons sites in Syria early Saturday. Since the launch of more than 100 missiles, a war of words has ensued.

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