Rutherford Questions Quinn's Ban on Prison Visits
SPRINGFIELD, IL - Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford (ROOTH'-er-ferd) says it's misguided for Gov. Pat Quinn to bar reporters from prison visits.
The Chenoa Republican says as a legislator he led lawmakers and reporters safely on tours of the maximum-security Pontiac and Dwight prisons every other year.
Quinn's Department of Corrections denied requests from WBEZ Radio in Chicago and The Associated Press to let reporters take a look inside various lockups.
The Democratic governor told reporters Friday that allowing reporters to visit state penitentiaries could jeopardize public safety.
Rutherford served in the House and Senate from 1993 to 2011. He says groups as large as 20 were accompanied by security staff and toured the penitentiaries at least eight times. He says the extra security's cost is worth the public understanding the visits provide.