Death In Illinois Prisons: He Didn’t Have A Death Sentence, But That’s What He Got

Razor wire lines a walkway at an Illinois prison on Dec. 22, 2009.
Razor wire lines a walkway at an Illinois prison on Dec. 22, 2009. AP Photo/M. Spencer Green
Razor wire lines a walkway at an Illinois prison on Dec. 22, 2009.
Razor wire lines a walkway at an Illinois prison on Dec. 22, 2009. AP Photo/M. Spencer Green

Death In Illinois Prisons: He Didn’t Have A Death Sentence, But That’s What He Got

When Sheila Fane got the call that her 26-year-old nephew, who she’d raised as a son, had died while incarcerated at an Illinois prison, she said, “You have to be f-ing kidding me.” It was the second time she’d gotten a call like this. 

Just a year and half earlier, her son had also died in a prison.

About eight people die inside Illinois prisons every month. And in many of those cases, the Department of Corrections doesn’t keep basic records, like the cause of death.

WBEZ’s Shannon Heffernan has been looking into why some of those people died and she went out to talk to Sheila Fane who was trying to piece together what had happened to her son and nephew. To hear what she found, click play above.