Skip to content

Prison Conditions and Practices

In recent years, the Illinois Department of Corrections has been sued across multiple class action suits on issues ranging from inadequate medical care to physical and sexual abuse at the hands of militarized tactical squads. These suits point to the degrading and potentially criminal conditions in correctional facilities, which may end up costing taxpayers millions in payouts and settlements.

Research shows harsh conditions don’t reduce recidivism, and can actually have the opposite effect. And since most people who enter prison will one day be released, society is best served when time behind bars prepares these individuals to live responsibly once returned.

Investing in prison programming shown to reduce recidivism is one way to make prisons a pathway to rehabilitation, rather than an anchor that drags and keeps people down. Supporting programs that divert at-risk youth from criminal activity before they ever enter is another.

Whatever path is chosen, one thing is certain: the human, social, and economic costs of our current prison state are now intolerable, and change can’t wait any longer.

our work in prison conditions and practices

Restore Justice supports efforts to move towards Illinois corrections towards a model that values rehabilitation over punishment. This includes making healthcare more affordable for people who are incarcerated, allowing family and loved ones to visit them more often, and reducing the use of solitary confinement as a punitive measure.

Learn More About Issues Related to Prison Conditions and Practices