Death in Illinois Prisons: He Didn't Have a Death Sentence, But That's What He Got

For the last year, Shannon Heffernan has been trying to figure out how and why people in Illinois prisons are dying.

2019 Third Coast / Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition

2018 / Shannon Heffernan / WBEZ, USA

For the last year, Shannon Heffernan has been trying to figure out how and why people in Illinois prisons are dying.

She found that the state wasn’t keeping basic records. This meant that not only the public, but sometimes also the families of prisoners couldn’t learn even the simplest details about how their loved one died. This story focuses on two deaths in a single family, showing the emotional strain families feel when they can’t learn about their loved one’s death and the extreme medical negligence and violation of basic rights happening in the prison medical system.

Death In Illinois Prisons: He Didn't Have a Death Sentence, But That's What He Got was produced by Shannon Heffernan and edited by Rob Wildeboer for WBEZ.

Photo: flickr/meesh


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