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.