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UPLC advocates for prisoners, tenants, and disabled people denied public benefits.

In the News

Illinois prison and health officials made misleading and inconsistent statements about a Legionella outbreak at several Illinois prisons last month, according to records and interviews with incarcerated people. Advocates and prison watchdogs say the inconsistencies highlight long-standing problems with accountability and oversight of the prison system’s water treatment practices.

Community members are condemning the Illinois Department of Corrections for housing people in unsafe conditions after Legionella bacteria was found in five state prisons last month, with some expressing concern that state officials have misled the public about the extent of the contamination.

Last week, officials in Illinois reported that they had detected legionella bacteria, which can cause Legionnaires’ disease, a potentially fatal type of pneumonia, in the water at two state prisons. The contaminated water was discovered during routine quarterly testing at Stateville Correctional Center and Joliet Treatment Center, according to a statement from the Illinois Department of Corrections and the Illinois Department of Public Health. The agencies said nobody is exhibiting symptoms of the disease.

Prisoners at an Illinois Department of Corrections facility deal with rodents, insects and other unsanitary conditions in cells, bathrooms and the kitchen, according to a lawsuit filed this month by a man against officials with the intake facility in Crest Hill.

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