An Illinois prison watchdog group says conditions are tense at Menard Correctional Center, in southern Illinois. Wednesday a man was charged with murdering his cell-mate last month. IPR's Brian Mackey has more.
"This is why everything matters in prisons. Why food matters in prisons. Why medical care matters in prisons. Why staffing levels because they are such tense and course of places, that when something goes wrong, it can spark really bad things," Maki says.
The association visited the prison and says older and other "vulnerable" inmates report being housed with aggressive, younger convicts. There are few educational or job programs, and one inmate says he waited months to get treatment for a broken tooth.
Prison officials says they carefully review cell assignments and investigate complaints of abuse.But John Maki says there's only so much prison administrators can do he says it's up to legislators and the governor to deal with the overcrowding.