prisons

(Flickr/neil conway)

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn can't proceed with plans to close prisons - at least for now.

A state appeals court has denied his administration's request to dissolve a temporary restraining order that prevented him from closing prisons in Tamms and Dwight, three halfway houses and juvenile detention centers in Joliet and Murphysboro. 

The Fifth District Appellate Court entered its order on Wednesday, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees received it on Friday.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Proposed amendment to appear on November ballot

A Missouri appeals court panel has upheld the ballot summary for a proposed constitutional amendment that would change the process for selecting appellate judges.

In its ruling Monday, a three-judge panel of the Western District Court of Appeals certified the summary that voters will see on the November ballot.

(via Flickr/neil conway)

Updated 3:25 p.m. to show denial of all-time statistic.

The number of people locked up in Illinois prisons has hit an all-time high while Gov. Pat Quinn battles with state employees over closing several correctional facilities.

State records analyzed by The Associated Press show the population hit 49,154 over the weekend. That's 19 inmates more than the Corrections Department's previous record, set on Oct. 6, 2011.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Legal fight between Quinn and Union continues

The legal fight between Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and the union that represents prisons workers continues this week.

Quinn had wanted the prisons closed by last Friday. Instead that day an arbitrator said the administration violated its contract with the prison workers' union by moving to close the facilities before they'd finished what's called "impact bargaining."

Union spokesman Anders Lindall says impact bargaining doesn't only affect employees facing layoffs.

KellyB. | Flickr

The Illinois Department of Employment Security says it has started checking the roll of people receiving unemployment benefits for those who might be ineligible because they're in jail.
 
Spokesman Greg Rivara says the department found 420 people receiving benefits who were behind bars sometime during the first two weeks of the review. Now the department will check to see if they might have been only briefly locked up and were still eligible or if they really weren't available to work. Availability to work is a key part of the criteria to determine unemployment eligibility.

(via Flickr/neil_conway)

Illinois lawmakers are telling Gov. Pat Quinn to reduce prison crowding with a new early release program.

The House voted 68-50 Thursday to reinstate sentence credits for prisoners who stay out of trouble behind bars or participate in self-improvement programs.

Non-violent inmates could qualify for as much as six months' time off their sentences.

Quinn shut down a similar program in 2009 after The Associated Press reported his Corrections Department released violent inmates weeks or even days after arriving at prison.

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Out-migration is costing St. Louis County money

More people are moving out of St. Louis County than moving in – and they’re taking money with them.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch cites Internal Revenue Service figures that show those who left the county between 2001 and 2010 earned on average $8,000 more than those who moved in. And about 52,000 more people left the county than moved in.

(via Flickr/s_falkow)

A Justice Center prison guard is facing multiple charges of sexual contact with an inmate at the maximum security jail last year. 

St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce filed eleven felony counts against Stephanie Rodgers Monday. The acts are alleged to have occurred in the prisoner’s cell and a security tower.  

Assistant Circuit Attorney Dan Proost said officials learned of the affair through phone taps that were part of a separate investigation. 

(Kelsey Proud/St. Louis Public Radio)

Last week, the Missouri House passed a bill that would make it easier for children to visit their mothers in prison. It would launch a two-year test program requiring the Department of Corrections to provide monthly transportation for kids to see their moms at the prisons in Vandalia and Chillicothe.

As St. Louis Public Radio’s Julie Bierach reports, supporters say, if approved, the bill could have an impact on recidivism rates in Missouri.

(via Flickr/david_shane)

One day after Governor Jay Nixon (D) made his State of the State Address, the annual State of the Judiciary Address was delivered to Missouri lawmakers today.

Chief Justice Rick Teitelman kept his speech short, but did call for the General Assembly to pass changes to the state’s probation and parole system in order to ease Missouri’s prison population.

“I support your effort to help make sentencing practices more cost effective, helping Missouri to become, as Judge (former Chief Justice William) Price stressed so often and so eloquently, both tough and smart.”

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