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What the heck is going on at the prisons?

Thursday, Apr 18, 2013

* Former Illinois prison warden Andrew Ott submitted an op-ed to several news outlets the other day about the problems within the Department of Corrections

The current administrative policies and procedures of the Illinois Department of Corrections have allowed the street gangs/security threat groups to once again gain a hold in Illinois prisons.

After years of hard work by many devoted individuals in identifying and controlling street gang activities in the Illinois prison system, these proud staff have watched the last two years as their hard work went by the way side.

The current director and his policies of allowing this organizational activity to occur, without fear of Tamms placement or discipline, has allowed street gangs to organize and once again develop a communication network.

When confronted with fiscal budget contraints, the current director volunteered to shutter the super-max prison at Tamms. Many wondered why anyone with an extensive security background would suggest such a thing. While others thought it had always been on the director’s agenda and possibly had to do with his association with former Latin King gang members and their neighborhood improvement business, “the new Humboldt park saints,” major contributor and supporter of closing Tamms.

One must keep in mind and would have to question the events of staff being killed by gang members at Stateville Correctional Center during the director’s tenure there as assistant warden of operations. Another event during his tenure at Stateville was the disappearance of a Latin King that ended up in the meat loaf, his skull found some years later (this story can be researched).

Regardless, the outcome was the closing of the Tamms super-max and the deterrent was gone. The gang chiefs transferred to Pontiac Correctional Center now have access to Chicago street information through visits and also now have the capability to send messages throughout the other facilities across the state.

Ott has been texting and e-mailing me (and, I assume other reporters) for months about conditions at prisons. Sometimes, we’ve been getting almost real-time updates on prison violence. Several news outlets appear to have used his updates for stories about prison conditions. It’s been a fascinating experience.

But I’ve been wondering all along about what the real context was. Is violence spiking since Tamms was closed?

* So I asked the Department of Corrections for a response. Here it is…

This article is irresponsible and inaccurate. His unsupported allegations do a great disservice to the thousands of men and women who work hard to keep our facilities safe each and every day.

Per your request for numbers:

    * Serious assaults on staff members and on inmates, system-wide, are lower this fiscal year than they were in FY12.

    o Serious inmate on inmate assaults are down with 99 in FY13 compared to 171 in FY12 (July-Feb).

    o Serious staff assaults have decreased with 75 in FY13 compared to 96 in FY12 (July-Feb).

    * Additionally, assaults utilizing weapons has decreased this fiscal year.

In July-Feb of FY 12 there were 30 assaults in which weapons were used. This year 17 assaults have involved a weapon.

The department investigates every incident of assault and takes each case seriously. We do not downplay nor minimize any assault. In fact, the IDOC has engaged in a concerted effort to refer assaults to the local State’s Attorney’s office for prosecution. These actions serve to send a clear message to offenders and staff alike, that the IDOC takes assaults extremely seriously and will work with the State’s Attorney to prosecute those found guilty.

The article misleads readers and implies that there is a lack of disciplinary tools following the closure of Tamms. This is false. The department has a wide range of options (depending on the severity of the underlying offense) ranging from loss of commissary, visits or other privileges to administrative detention and segregation. Pontiac continues to serve as our long term segregation facility and the department will continue to place inmates in segregation if their behavior warrants such discipline.

The department’s investigations and intelligence division works diligently and takes full advantage of a wide range of measures to root out gang activity (inside and outside IDOC walls) before it happens. This unit utilizes informants, as well as routine cell and inmate searches, interviews, and other measures to prevent and control gang activity. The department balances the housing of gang members within the facilities and keeps gang leaders away from the general population. Inmate phone calls and mail are monitored and inmates are not permitted to correspond with inmates in other facilities. Inmates’ visitors are heavily screened by Investigations and Intel staff prior to approval and no known gang members are permitted to visit an offender.

IDOC’s investigations unit has expanded considerably in the near decade since Mr. Ott’s brief involvement. Since its inception, this unit has grown in size and expanded its mission from internal intelligence to a larger public safety presence. The unit has never deviated from its primary mission of focusing on issues within the Illinois Department of Corrections facilities.

The Department of Corrections is a far safer system than it was decades ago, and will continue to do all it can to increase safety and security while making efficient use of taxpayer dollars. Director Godinez has more than 40 years of correctional expertise and was unanimously confirmed by the senate two years ago. Corrections is a tough business. A lot of hard choices need to be made and it takes someone with the experience and knowledge to make the tough decisions when necessary.

The safety of the public and the security of our facilities continues to be our top priority.

Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


74 Comments
  1. - Cincinnatus - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 2:16 pm:

    We sold Thomson to the Feds for what reason, again?


  2. - Small Town Liberal - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 2:19 pm:

    - We sold Thomson to the Feds for what reason, again? -

    We didn’t have the money to operate it, they paid us money, and now they’re going to operate it.

    Not that hard, really.


  3. - Reality Check - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 2:25 pm:

    Actually, Pat Quinn said he sold it to relieve overcrowding in the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

    Seriously.


  4. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 2:30 pm:

    Stick to the topic, please.


  5. - SO IL M - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 2:30 pm:

    Wow. Who woulda thunk it. This is exactly what brought on the crackdowns on media reports by the director last year. This is the information that the administration was so scared of getting out that they began searching staff on the way out and threatening staff. This is also what you deleted everytime I mentioned it a year ago. If you want to see the paper trail that they left and did all they could to cover, look into the investigation that was started at Tamms last year, and the Investigator from Springfield who was sent to bury the investigation. But then again, this was offered to you last year and you deleted any mention of it.


  6. - soccermom - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 2:30 pm:

    Eeeuw. Did someone really end up as meatloaf? Seems unlikely that I wouldn’t have heard about this, given my lifelong fascination with crime…


  7. - Robert - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 2:32 pm:

    I think Ott has an axe to grind with Godinez. Some of his criticism are correct, but c’mon, accusing the director of having gang ties is beyond slanderous. DOC has a lot of problems, most related to budget cuts and Quinn’s self-defeating policy of closing the prisons off to media visits. Godinez is left holding the bag.


  8. - Hey There - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 2:35 pm:

    I wonder why Ott is a “former” warden? Maybe he now has an axe to grind with his “former” boss who axed him? I would carefully consider the source before putting too much credence in what he’s saying.


  9. - Dan Bureaucrat - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 2:40 pm:

    One we know violence is down, there isn’t a lot left to this story. They are also quite right that the security apparatus at the IDOC is, well, plenty huge.

    The real story here is that every single incident of violence in any prison now results in a phone call from the local steward to AFSCME’s press department to get the word out that this is because Tamms closed. Most of the reporters who quote AFSCME in these stories have never even asked if violence is up or down.

    They also fail to report that no ex-Tamms person has been involved in any of these incidents, and most would not have been sent to Tamms anyway.

    That’s why more media reporting on prisons is not always going to lead to more transparency.


  10. - titan - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 2:45 pm:

    I really don’t think Latin King meat is kosher, or even halal.


  11. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 2:45 pm:

    I’d like to know if the John Howard Association is tracking any of this. I don’t trust IDOC or Andrew Ott, neither are objective sources of info or analysis.

    I’m not surprised gang leaders in prison influence gang activity on the street though. That’s been going on for decades if not longer. The techniques used to prevent that would violate a lot of laws, so there isn’t too much we can do.

    On the other hand, the guards must be in control of the prisoners, not the gang leaders. That’s a serious problem if it’s happening. We just don’t know enough yet to say whether that’s the case or not, and whether more guards and/or more prisons are needed.


  12. - milkman - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 2:49 pm:

    n February, five of the 15 inmates suspected of an attack on staff members, including the facility chaplain at Menard, were sent to Lawrence to be housed in their segregation unit. Of those five, none had a parole date earlier than 2047, with one having a death sentence commuted to life.


  13. - Dan Bureaucrat - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 2:53 pm:

    47th ward,
    Last year when there were constant claims that violence was up “because Tamms was going to close,” then the BND investigative reporters looked at violence statistics and found it was down.

    Another interesting fact is that states that closed or stopped using their supermax prisons saw violence go down. In Maine, all measure of violence went down. The Maine commissioner spoke about this at the Tamms hearings, and the Mississippi commissioner speaks around the country about his major turnaround on the use of supermax prisons.

    There is no evidence that any supermax, including ours, reduces or deters violence. Yet reporters, union members, and the people who designed Tamms continue to assert it.


  14. - milkman - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 3:03 pm:

    Reported by staff at Centralia
    Lt punched in chest in Feb and in late Jan early Feb dentist was assaulted I/m grabbed his hand twice and jerked it away while working on him. Both at Centralia


  15. - milkman - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 3:03 pm:

    Feb 21(ish) I/M assaults officer with broken broom handle @ Lawrence


  16. - milkman - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 3:05 pm:

    march 22nd
    Reported Staff assault Logan about 45 minutes ago…..post is as follows….an inmate “swung” on an officer on HU 3. She called a code. When the responding staff arrived, the inmate continued to fight them.


  17. - soccermom - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 3:05 pm:

    Seriously — this would seem to be blatant libel, unless it’s provably true.


  18. - Data Rules - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 3:08 pm:

    Well, there you have it. Violence is down in the prisons, despite what AFSCME would have you believe. Hopefully the media will do their job and report this data the next time AFSCME cherry picks information about violence in the system, misrepresenting the facts to suit their own aims.


  19. - AFSCME member - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 3:14 pm:

    It might be safer than decades ago… But it is not as safe as 3 yrs ago.


  20. - Cheswick - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 3:19 pm:

    Well, at least this isn’t the New Orleans city jail, where drugs, guns and beer behind bars, and the occasional field trip to Bourbon Street are on trial.

    http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2013/04/expert_for_feds_weighs_in_on_s.html


  21. - Jesse - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 3:20 pm:

    Seriously these people are incarcerated because they have been found guilty of criminal actions. Essentially, they lack the ability in their psyche to adjust to the norms of society. Many have experienced violence and perpetrated violence on others…for YEARS. We suddenly believe that incarcerating them cures them from lack of control? Do IDOC employees or Director Godinez possess some ultra curing pixie dust? No criminals will be criminals, keep slashing money from the budget, packing them in like sardines, and eliminating programs such as mental health, education, anger management and the cycle only perpetuates itself. So tell me, does Mr. Godinez possess a checkbook or is instructed to work with the hand he is dealt.

    Mr. Ott needs to look in the mirror , good criminal searches on him will reveal his own very little lack of control in domestic situations.


  22. - milkman - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 3:22 pm:

    Hey Data Rules
    Exactly what do you do for the Quinn administration?


  23. - Happy Returns - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 3:25 pm:

    ” I really don’t think Latin King meat is kosher, or even halal.”

    An inmate? Clearly not ‘free-range’, either.


  24. - Prison Worker - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 3:45 pm:

    I love how many people here that dont work in the system are experts. Ill give you my direct observations. Ive been working in IDOC for 17 years. Godinez is a joke and respects the inmates more than staff. Work is simply much more dangerous now than it has been in my career. MANY more assaults that get labeled as “isolated incidents.” Thats how you keeps assault stats down.


  25. - Are You Serious - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 3:46 pm:

    Well I would take the word of a Director found Guilty of Ethics Violations by the Office of Executive Inspector General? Wouldn’t you? In the report he says he knew criteria was there, he just never read it. Refer to Ap story you can click and read the OEIG Report. Always remember when it’s Idoc, Numbers don’t lie, Liers do numbers.


  26. - Data Rules - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 3:49 pm:

    Milkman, I don’t work for the governor’s office or the IDOC. I believe in policies that are supported by data and facts. AFSCME fought tooth and nail to keep Tamms and the other shuttered prisons open, so it’s no surprise that they would try to highlight any instance of prison violence post-closure. Like AFSCME, you have cited several incidents of prison violence ostensibly to make the case that there is an uptick in prison violence as a result of recent IDOC reforms. All you are providing is anecdotes, however; what matters is overall trends, and it is now clear that the closure of the prisons has not caused an immediate increase in violence. Of course, we will know much more as time goes on, and analyze the relevant variables to extricate causation from correlation. However, the data from Maine and Mississippi, where the use of supermax prisons was reduced, indicates that the closure of Tamms will not negatively affect prison violence.


  27. - Major - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 3:52 pm:

    This is only the start of what has been going on in DOC. The current Administration excluding assistant Director Taylor needs terminated. The only reason I leave her out is because she did an excellent job when she war Acting Director. Now they leave her out of everything that’s a shame. The last two years is the worst I have ever seen this Department. Unfortunately some staff member will end up assaulted to death before they get this Administration out.


  28. - transplant - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 3:58 pm:

    Jesse @ 3:20
    A good criminal search shows that Mr. Ott was the plaintiff in the domestic case to which you refer, not the defendant, so not sure what your point would be.


  29. - Ron - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 4:02 pm:

    Cook county jail did a vote of no confidence on Godinez when he was Administrator of the jail. Then the state hires him as Director of DOC. WOW


  30. - Are You Serious - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 4:03 pm:

    Keep in mind, this is the same Director that tried to ban the Press from the Prisons after years of allowing them in. This created such a media outcry, then then gave in to guided tours. Oh was that an Associated Press release I read today, #rd suspicious death at Menard ruled a homocide today by Coroner. Is the Agency tracking Murders too?


  31. - Skeeter - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 4:04 pm:

    Sure prisons are understaffed, but at least Gov. Quinn has a spokesman in both Chicago and Springfield.

    This is Illinois.

    We have our priorities.


  32. - Jim - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 4:10 pm:

    How did Ty Bates get promoted to Deputy Director when he has been found guilty of Sexual Harassment . O I forgot Godinez and Buscher was found guilty of Ethics violation on hiring. This must be a requirment my bad.


  33. - concerned - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 4:13 pm:

    For those that have never been in IDOC or worked IDOC research the Ott story and you will see it is as true as it gets. I suggest that if the politicians of Illinois vote Godinez in as Director of IDOC then the people of Illinois should vote them out. With Godinez as Director you will see the death rate in IDOC go even hirer, the gang activity will increase and employee attitudes will go much lower (if that is possible).


  34. - Dan Bureaucrat - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 4:24 pm:

    Seems like this cue could use some moderation.


  35. - Are You Serious - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 4:35 pm:

    Dan always wants moderation in what ever doesn’t pertain to his opinion or objectives. Come on Dan let others leave comments, your retired now relax a little,


  36. - Southern C/O - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 4:37 pm:

    I am a C/O and I can attest to the fact that violence hasn’t been this bad since the 90’s. I have several years in the dept and I am looking for other employment. Something very bad is going to happen, and I do not intend on being there when it does.


  37. - Data Rules - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 4:42 pm:

    Southern, in what way is the violence worse than anytime since the 1990’s? The data shows that assaults are down. I’m honestly interested to hear what accounts for the discrepancy between the facts and the impression that things are worse.


  38. - concerned - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 4:46 pm:

    The article of Mr. Ott sure must have hit a nerve with the Director, because they never respond to anything that fast!!!!! I guess the old statement is true. “The Truth Hurts”. About time..


  39. - Dan Bureaucrat - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 4:47 pm:

    Who me? It’s great to talk to everyone when there is content. But right now commenters are simply attacking individual employees they have vendettas against. And it’s off-topic. This isn’t The Southern.


  40. - concerned - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 4:50 pm:

    DAN, you know nothing about this. Go to Bed. Good bye.


  41. - Mason born - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 4:55 pm:

    For those of you still working at DOC. Keep your powder dry and stay safe. I’m Sorry but the F.I.L.’s have decreed that now that Tamms is closed all is well. Just take care that you won’t be one of the Non-Assault Assaults.


  42. - Fed Up - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 5:21 pm:

    No confirmation of the director please. We cant take another 2 years of this


  43. - Retired - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 5:43 pm:

    http://thesouthern.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/rd-menard-prison-inmate-death-ruled-a-homicide/article_c3d9407e-a84e-11e2-b72c-0019bb2963f4.html
    From a retiree with over 30 years and no bones to pick. IDOC is out of control. To many chiefs who have no clues. Unless somebody can take control of the ship, its going to sink and take staff with it.


  44. - Robert the Bruce - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 6:15 pm:

    ==MANY more assaults that get labeled as “isolated incidents.”==
    If true, we’d probably see an uptick in “isolated incidents” this year vs. last year. I also wonder if inmate homicides are up over last year. Those stats are tougher to cheat on, if you are right that the numbers are fake.


  45. - Are You Serious - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 6:16 pm:

    http://www.cantondailyledger.com/article/20130131/NEWS/130139783/1001/NEWS Read this, then decide if the Director or Agency numbers a are Legit.


  46. - Major - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 6:32 pm:

    If anyone from the Senate is reading this and keeping track of what is going on in DOC PLEASE HELP. Do not confirm him and clean house of his Appointees this is SERIOUS. This Department is a sinking ship with these guys.


  47. - Ron - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 6:53 pm:

    Jim I know you are joking but that is true about Deputy Director Ty Bates he was found guilty of Harassment and then promoted. I worked with Bates I remember when he was politicking to get rid of Molina and Buscher. They fired Molina and couldn’t fire Buscher because of some contract so the demoted him. Now him and Bates are tight if Buscher only knew.


  48. - Former NSP - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 7:08 pm:

    I know two things for sure:

    1)Godinez has been found guilty of an ethics violation, and

    2)the same day an officer who had been assaulted was having major and extensive surgery to repair the damage to his face IDOC reported that he was home and doing well. The same people who reported that he was home and doing well are the people deciding what’s a “serious” assault and what isn’t.


  49. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 8:48 pm:

    Ron, it’s absolutely true about the harassment charges and the DD. He’s always seemed nice enough to me, but their was an allegation made to the AA/EEOC. I believe there was some news/FOIA inquiries to the office about it (but not much follow up).


  50. - This is serious - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 9:01 pm:

    Let’s not turn this into personal paybacks. What Mr Ott is asserting is the issue. Mr Ott or Mr Godinez’s… Or anyone else’s personal failings are not the issue.

    The taxpayers of this state spent hundreds of millions of dollars back in the mid 1990’s to reform a system that was full of violence, drugs and gang control. The results were almost miraculous. The system was basically cleansed of these problems. Both democrats and republicans, the press, and the IDOC deserved most of the credit. So the question is; are we going backwards to those times. If what Mr Ott is saying…. Is true…. Then I am afraid we will be there sooner than later.


  51. - This is serious - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 9:07 pm:

    I should have said … Alleged personal failings….


  52. - This is serious - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 9:15 pm:

    … And I don’t think the Director is connected to any gang.


  53. - Barney Fife - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 9:30 pm:

    I don’t see where it said connected. It spoke of an establishment/orginization ran by “former” who were instrumental in Tamms closure & major supporter of Year Twenty Ten. Regardless, this Director has ill advised Quinn and is throwing him under the bus with Afscme when incidents occur. Afscme has been given lots of promises, all not acted on yet, they will soon find out this Director has plans of privatization in store in the very near future.


  54. - He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 9:52 pm:

    DATA RULES–

    Data can be manipulated to make it look good no matter what. Do you really think they are going to come out and say it is worse? I know many CO and like Southern, they are looking to get out. They tell me violence is on the rise in prisons and it is time to get out.


  55. - Roger - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 10:17 pm:

    I dont know Ott but I commend him for comming out and telling whats going on. I know that there is several Wardens that would like to tell what is going on but cant do to being fired. They are very concerned for there staff. Hopefully this article will get some attention and they will make some changes.


  56. - Rudy - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 10:25 pm:

    former LATIN KING.. Didn’t you know were now BOY SCOUTS?


  57. - SO IL M - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 10:29 pm:

    There are no “Former” Latin Kings.


  58. - S.O.H.P (Saints) - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 10:35 pm:

    Bunch of Haters sore losers. Thank God for Director Godinez’s and his Staff. Can I say enough about our next Governor and his courage.Who may that be? QUINN that’s WHO, so stop your crying.


  59. - Jamie - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 10:38 pm:

    Yes there are! Their called DEMOCRATS.


  60. - Taxpayer - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 10:39 pm:

    I think another question that should be answered Is why did Godinez leave the IDOC back during the reforms.??


  61. - Barney Fife - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 10:45 pm:

    Uh? Because he has been “let go” twice before. Hmmmm?


  62. - wordslinger - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 10:45 pm:

    –I’m Sorry but the F.I.L.’s have decreed that now that Tamms is closed all is well. –

    What are F.I.Ls? Bad people, I take it, who coddle violent criminals?


  63. - Jacob - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 10:46 pm:

    All you ANGRY guards and union members get over it!TAMMS is closed,finished,locked down.Never to be open again. Your fortunate those people who closed it( Tamms committee) did not ask for your dismissal.


  64. - southern guy - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 10:47 pm:

    I know Bates he is also Quinns southern Campaign orginizer for this comming election. Believe me this is not helping Quinn at all. Bates is not liked down south at all. They tolerate him because of his position and thats it. just saying this is probably why he is still in his Deputy Director spot.


  65. - Jacob - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 10:48 pm:

    Instead they prayed for you.


  66. - Jacob - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 10:50 pm:

    Cook county is where the election is won or lost. Quinn country.


  67. - country - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 10:54 pm:

    S.O.H.P.(Saints) are you an ex inmate? LOL


  68. - S.O.H.P (Saints) - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 11:03 pm:

    No we are not former Tamms inmates. We just helped close it.


  69. - preacher - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 11:19 pm:

    Come on guys,Love thy neighbor. Lets get along and let TAMMS sink into HELL.


  70. - News buster - Friday, Apr 19, 13 @ 12:28 am:

    Are the former Tamms inmates still on hunger strike in Pontiac? Do they realize winter was the easy time in Pontiac? They are not use to doing time in a smaller cell with another inmate… And temperatures over 115 degrees in the cell house. Maybe the governor will air condition Pontiac?? Maybe they will be moved out of Pontiac … ?


  71. - Southern C/O - Friday, Apr 19, 13 @ 5:03 am:

    Sounds like they are on the run Jerry Buscher turned in hid letter of resignation yesterday, effective june 1st. HHHMMM.


  72. - foster brooks - Friday, Apr 19, 13 @ 6:45 am:

    Quinn wants those 2.5% pension guards to quit so he can get his own hacks in there.


  73. - visitor - Friday, Apr 19, 13 @ 7:09 am:

    I have been visiting a offender once a week for the last 3 years. Those of you who think things are better obviously have not been there. Prisoners (offenders) and gaurds are more scared today than ever.


  74. - preacher - Friday, Apr 19, 13 @ 8:50 am:

    Thats not what I heard (visitor).At Pontiac everything is followed by the book.There is no HUNGER strike.The C/Os are not allowed to carry out their rules and sick emotions.For the first time Pontiac has a decent Principle Warden. Its only a few sic C/Os that are the problem.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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        * Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signs legislation expan.....
        * A tale of two budgets - Jacksonville Journal-Co.....
        * Gov. Quinn wants to be 'people's candidate' - W.....
        * Back pay, OT pushes state government's '$100000.....
        * Rival's poll suggests Lisa Madigan re-election .....
        * Federal Judge declares DC gun law unconstitutio.....
        * Dem leaders urge minimum wage hike, criticize R.....
        * Election 2014: Dissecting Pat Quinn's, Bruce Ra.....


        * Virus drugmaker fights pediatricians' new advice
        * Police: Indiana mom, girls shot in robbery attempt
        * AAR says air carrier deal means up to 175 jobs
        * Gov. Quinn to live off equivalent of minimum wage
        * Cahokia Mounds excavators make interesting find
        * Police: 1 man charged in Chicago train robbery
        * More Illinois counties could join camera program
        * Police: 1 man charged in Chicago train robbery
        * Illinois charity takes veterans on fishing trips
        * Illinois prison guard suffers concussion in attack

        * To fight crime, Chicago tries wiping away arrests
        * Quinn, Rauner budget plans debatable
        * Back pay, OT pushes state government’s ‘$100,000 club’ to 7,800
        * Back pay, OT pushes state government's '$100,000 club' to 7,800
        * Quinn signs $1B plan for road repair in Illinois
        * Rauner meets with county GOP
        * Rauner meets with Sangamon County GOP
        * Howlett Building closed Tuesday after small fire
        * Judge: Illinois can close developmental center
        * Rauner event on Saturday moved to Boondock's

        * Democratic candidate for Illinois Treasurer needs on the job training
        * Tribune Publishing CEO: We're buying newspapers
        * Poor families use 'supervouchers' to rent in city's priciest buildings
        * Letters to the editor
        * Rauner, the anti-tax candidate, finds a tax he likes: on services


        * 2 teens killed, 2 hurt in crash
        * Horses on parade: Statues to honor fallen police officers, raise money
        * Man charged in Orange Line robbery
        * Los Angeles man arrested in 1992 murder of Skokie teen
        * ‘I have faith and hope,’ Lisa Stebic’s sister says
        * Prosecutor: Shooter knew rival wasn’t in crowd but fired anyway
        * Women at work: Balancing life’s load as electricians
        * Charges pending in CTA robbery
        * Hundreds gather to pay respects to slain 11-year-old Shamiya Adams
        * Ex-cop accused of planting drugs might wind up back on force


        * 5 injured, including 4 teens, in Loop crash
        * Police: 2 charged in shooting of 3-year-old
        * 5 shot in separate Sunday attacks
        * Public art display of horse statues to honor fallen officers
        * Addison mother and daughters shot during Hammond robbery attempt
        * Pedestrian hit by car in Avondale
        * Court records: North Mayfair man knocked 12-year-old off bike in theft
        * Riverdale man tried to kill witness to fatal shooting, prosecutors say
        * Marquette Park man held on $2M bail in taxi-driver murder case
        * 2 teens dead, 2 'very serious' after Harvey crash


        * So, when is it Jane Byrne's turn?
        * Seven Months And Two Storms Later, Executive Mansion Gets Mini-Fix
        * State Police Cancels New Trooper Training, Citing Budget
        * Feds' Immigrant Numbers For Illinois May Not Tell Whole Story
        * Listen to State Week - July 25, 2014
        * Inspector General Discloses Political Hiring Investigation
        * Man Robbed By Fake Police On I-55
        * Illinois Sees Growth In Tax Revenue, But It Won't Last Long
        * Business, Labor Leaders Urge Quinn Administration To Finish Fracking Rules
        * Pullman to get an indoor sports facility


        * Quinn, Rauner budget plans debatable
        * Angie Muhs: Who will be the next First Citizen?
        * Tony Leone: Put the ALPLM under federal control
        * Back pay, OT pushes state government’s ‘$100,000 club’ to 7,800
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Schneider stresses fiscal issues in seeking GOP wins
        * Our Opinion: No harm in Houston changing his mind
        * Statehouse Insider: That’s not a tax hike, is it?
        * Rauner meets with county GOP
        * Rauner event on Saturday moved to Boondock's
        * Diane Lopez Hughes: Where is the compassion for children at the border?


        * Carbondale RNC hosted fire safety seminar
        * Business calendar
        * People in business
        * Retail roundup: Abe's Gourmet Popcorn is growing
        * Belleville bike shop owner is closing his doors
        * Prairie Heart Institute to sponsor race
        * Millikin Homestead: A living piece of history
        * Decatur park district undergoes management changes
        * Motor fuel tax a nonstarter in Macon County
        * Minding the mystic chords of memory in Moweaqua


        * 'Avengers' cast reunites at Comic-Con
        * Images: Comic Con 2014
        * Firefighter hurt in Bartlett house fire
        * Shipwrecked Concordia completes last voyage
        * U.S. meat supplier in China withdraws products

        * Malkin's news for Dems: It's 'not an inter...
        * Labor Dept., Dems renewing push to hike mi...
        * Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Imwit) Dares To #Li...
        * Illinois Congresswoman Takes on Minimum-Wa...
        * Rep. Jan Schakowsky's minimum-wage menu is...
        * Congressman Dan Lipinski to host 3 events ...
        * 'It's an adventure'! Michelle Malkin and f...
        * What Does Representative Schakowsky Usuall...
        * Jan Schakowsky tries minimum wage - Politico
        * Statement by Rep. Jan Schakowsky on Presid...

        * Dem leaders urge minimum wage hike, critic......
        * ATF Efforts Raised in Chicago...
        * ATF Efforts Raised in Chicago...
        * Rand Paul Talks to Black and Democrats Fli......
        * Rand Paul Talks to Black and Democrats Fli......

        * Sen. Rose: Quinn too little, too late to C......
        * Councils bid to electrify Doncaster-Cleeth......
        * Kirk again calls for removal of VA hospita......
        * On ADA anniversary, retiring Harkin promis......
        * Content about Alaska...

        * Former Redflex Employee Testifies At Federal Grand Jury Hearing
        * Did 'Tomahawk Chop' overwhelm White Sox, Chicago moments of glory?
        * Illinois home sales and prices increase in June #IARMarketStats
        * Infographic: Illinois Home Sales and Prices Up This June #IARMarketStats
        * You could win big in the Game On Giveaway!
        * Study reveals the hidden cost of foreclosures in Chicago neighborhoods
        * Morning Minute: Illinois and U.S. housing markets pick up in June
        * Good news if you are buying a home: mortgage rates remain low
        * Sign up for Fall Conference to see the amazing Elizabeth Dozier
        * Morning Minute: Selling your home this summer? 10 tax tips you need to know


        * Governor Quinn Proclaims “Frank Thomas Day” in Illinois - Honors “The Big Hurt” and the Class of 2014 Hall of Famers
        * Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Expand the Holocaust and Genocide Commission - Commission Works to Increase Public Awareness Through Educational Programs, Events and Outreach
        * Governor Quinn Breaks Ground on New Pullman Community Center in Chicago - Center will Increase Year-Round Recreational Opportunities for Chicago’s South Side and Create Jobs
        * Governor Quinn Announces Investment for Broadview Park Project - New Development Will Create Jobs and Improve Recreational Facilities
        * Governor Quinn Statement on Unaccompanied Children Crossing the US Border




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