State prisons mum on who can get in for tours
SPRINGFIELD (AP) – First, Gov. Pat Quinn rejected reporters’ requests to tour Illinois prisons as he plans a major shakeup in the state’s corrections system. Now his administration is refusing to reveal precisely who has been allowed to see inside state penitentiaries during his 3 years in office.
Carefully controlled prison walk-throughs were commonplace for lawmakers, journalists and others in years past as a way to illustrate conditions for prisoners and the state employees who keep them in line. But after barring the gate to reporters last month, Quinn’s administration has deemed it too burdensome to reveal who has been allowed to enter in response to a Freedom of Information request by The Associated Press.
Despite the governor’s declaration that allowing reporters inside is a “security risk,” prison officials say only individual wardens have information about tours by outside groups, and that top Department of Corrections brass don’t keep track of who’s coming and going, although some evidence contradicts that.
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