Statesville Prison Renews Focus on Inmate Overcrowding
A lack of beds at the Statesville prison is renewing focus on overcrowding in Illinois prisons.
Hundreds of inmates at the Statesville prison are sleeping in a gym, healthcare unit, and staging areas next to garages.
Kent Beauchamp, regional director of AFSCME Council 31, says he's not surprised. He says inmates sleeping outside cells in groups is dangerous, and poses a security problem. He says it's not an isolated incident.
"There is no room left in the prisons in Illinois," Beauchamp said. "They've closed too many of them, and they've got too many inmates, and they do not have enough security staff in those prisons, or, frankly, enough of any staff in those prisons."
Illinois prison officials say that while the situation is not ideal, the facility is secure, with extra guards on hand. The corrections director also says prisons are run safely and humanely.