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Quinn Shuns WBEZ On Juvenile Prisons

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Dec 10, 2009 8:00PM

WBEZ's Rob Wildeboer has been fighting to get access to the state's juvenile prisons to see how they're run, especially given the fact taxpayers fund the $100 million-plus budget for the prisons. But Gov. Quinn is shutting them out. Wildeboer's requests were in response to allegations from teens who had spent time in these facilities, such as young man from a St. Charles facility who told him:

Rodents kept climbing on my food. When I set it down, they ran across the floor, ran over my food and ran around the room like six more times and I didn't see it after that. There's rats in there. Rats, there's roaches all in there. On average, you'll see like seven rats a day. Nine, 10 rats a day, yourself. Not including what everybody else din saw.

And yet the state wouldn't allow Wildeboer and WBEZ in except for a supervised tour of one of Chicago's better juvenile prisons. It's definitely a story worth checking out, especially for the exchange between Wildeboer and Quinn spokesman Bob Reed in which Reed explains to Wildeboer why press isn't allowed certain access while at the same time exclaiming, "Quinn is running one of the most open and transparent administrations that the state has ever seen and in the state's history."