Daniel Gordon poses for his new state I.D. photo at the expo on Tuesday. Gordon served 17 months in Jacksonville Correctional Center for a third DUI conviction and is trying to piece his life together, starting with a more stable job.
In Illinois, 25,000 men and women are released from state prisons each year. Ideally, that means 25,000 people entering the job market. But Illinois already has higher-than-average unemployment, and a criminal record can make it even harder to find work. That's why the Illinois Department of Corrections is trying to lend a hand to ex-offenders through a series of specialized events.
75 % of Illinois lawmakers surveyed by Chicago Public Radio say they have never stepped foot in a maximum security prison cell block. And 40 percent of those legislators have never toured or visited a prison even once.
Yet they’re the ones signing the checks for the $1.3 billion dollar per year agency.
Ninety-five of the 118 House members responded to the survey.
Gov. Pat Quinn is supporting his prisons director after a Republican challenger called for the director to be fired. Sen. Kirk Dillard is a GOP candidate for governor. He said Wednesday that Democrat Quinn should fire S.A. ``Tony'' Godinez for hiring a man with arrests and apparent one-time gang ties.
Dillard says it's ``outrageous'' that ex-gang members are ``running the prisons.'' Xadrian McCraven was an $111,000-a-year senior policy adviser to the Department of Corrections' parole chief before he was fired Friday.
Lawmakers say an early prison release law doesn't need changing despite a mistake in which a parolee now charged with murder was not properly monitored.
Joshua A. Jones was set free in May five months early. He was charged with a Decatur murder three months later. Documents and Associated Press interviews show Jones was supposed to be electronically monitored but was not. State prison officials say an employee faces discipline.
Tuesday marks the launch of state health insurance exchanges, a major part of the Affordable Care Act. Among the many changes likely after the new health coverage takes effect: Fewer people behind bars.
During a recent expo put on by the Illinois Department of Corrections in Champaign, Jeff Rinderle of the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District talked with parolees and former prison inmates transitioning into civilian life about the Affordable Care Act.
A former Illinois Department of Corrections accounting employee will serve 21 months in federal prison after admitting to embezzling more than $50,000 from a fund meant to benefit prison workers killed in the line of duty. U.S. District Judge Sue Myerscough sentenced 47-year-old Mary Ann Bohlen on Monday. Myerscough also ordered the Edinburg resident to pay nearly $24,000 to the Illinois Correctional Employees Memorial Association and $27,000 to the state corrections agency.