A scathing report by court-approved researchers paints a bleak picture of Illinois prison medical care, describing treatment delays, haphazard follow-up care, chaotic record keeping and a litany of other problems that may have cut short the lives of some inmates, reports the Associated Press. The 405-page report, which the Illinois Department of Corrections disputed, was filed yesterday in federal court in Chicago in a class-action suit against the agency, which oversees 49,000 inmates statewide.
The report concludes that “Illinois has been unable to meet minimal constitutional standards with regards to the adequacy of its health care program.” The state says the authors should not have drawn sweeping conclusions after visiting just eight of 25 Illinois prison facilities. The experts reviewed a sample of 63 Illinois prisoner deaths from illness in recent years and found “significant lapses” in care in 60 percent of those cases. It called that percentage of prisoners who received shoddy care “unacceptably high.”