88 inmates sharing 2 toilets in Illinois prison

The men are sharing 2 toilets because they're living in a gym due to a ceiling collapse in their cell block Sunday at the troubled Vandalia prison.

September 6, 2012

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When the ceiling in dorm 'E' fell in on Sunday, 88 prisoners were moved to the gym where there are only two toilets.

Walter Mikolajczyk says the gym is a miserable place to live. He says "there's no windows in the gym” and it’s like a dungeon and two toilets are definitely not enough.  

Mikolajczyk did time in Vandalia for drunk driving and he was forced to live in the gym because of overcrowding in the prison. He says at certain times of the day, like first thing in the morning, the toilets were never available in the gym, and he says people who got sick would sometimes be forced to use the showers as toilets.

The Department of Corrections says the restrooms are adequate, saying there are also five urinals.

Mikolajczyk says he's not surprised the ceiling collapsed because the whole facility has water damage and mold. He works in construction and he says the building should be condemned and the state should not be wasting its money trying to patch the place up.

WBEZ has been reporting on the troubled prison and has been seeking a visit, but Gov. Pat Quinn has said no, citing safety and security concerns.