A prison watchdog group says Governor Pat Quinn's reason for keeping reporters out of the state's prisons is very concerning.
Speaking to reporters in Springfield last week, Quinn defended his decision to keep journalists from seeing inside the prisons. Quinn said, “I don't believe in that, I think that it's important that when it comes to the security of our prisons I go with the director that I have at the department of corrections. Security comes first and it isn't a country club.”
John Maki, the executive director of the John Howard Association says, “If the department of corrections can't guarantee the safety of a reporter coming in to just ask some very legitimate questions to talk to inmates, to talk to staff, that raises some real concerns about the safety of the facilities. If they're actually that insecure, that's a problem. That in and of itself is a problem.”
Volunteers with the John Howard Association visit prisons every month.
Their reports have detailed appalling conditions that have gone unaddressed.
Illinois Public Radio’s Robert Wildeboer filed this story.