Many states make it extremely difficult for journalists to visit their prisons, interview inmates and report with any regularity or authority on what goes on inside America's prison system.
Take the case of Illinois.
In March, after hearing reports of black mold, insect and vermin infestations, and busted-out windows in Vienna Correctional Center, a minimum-security prison in the southernmost tip of Illinois, criminal justice and courts reporter Rob Wildeboer of Public Radio station WBEZ in Chicago began trying to arrange a tour of the facility.
His request was denied . . .
Want to read more? Please subscribe to The Crime Report!