One month later 88 men still sharing 2 toilets at deteriorating state prison in Illinois

October 2, 2012

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Inmates continue to be held in a gym at a prison in Southern Illinois because of deteriorating conditions.

At the beginning of September the ceiling in a cell block at Vandalia state prison collapsed, forcing administrators to move 88 men to the gym where they've been living since. The gym has five urinals but only two toilets.

In an emailed statement an IDOC spokeswoman said the ceiling collapsed after a heavy rainfall. She wrote that there were no holes in the roof, but water seeped in. She also said that work was already being done on the roof when the collapse occurred.

To get some clarity on exactly what happened WBEZ has repeatedly asked to talk to someone with the Department of Corrections who's seen the damage and can explain it. The facilities manager, the warden, anyone. WBEZ has been asking for a month and IDOC has refused. The denial comes on top of refusals by IDOC and Governor Pat Quinn to let reporters into prisons where they could see conditions firsthand.