Watchdog Group: Prison Inmates Rarely Get To Change Underwear

TAYLORVILLE, Ill. (CBS) — A prison watchdog group finds that inmate tightie-whities are not so white these days.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports, the John Howard Association says inmates at the Taylorville Correctional Center downstate are being forced to wear the same underwear day after day after day due to a clothing shortage.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports

The group says that could cause health and hygiene problems.

Association representatives recently visited the prison near Springfield, and found that inmates’ clothing is washed twice a week, but that each inmate is only issued two pairs of underwear.

Similar rationing is also believed to go on at other state prisons.

A spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Corrections says the state is doing its best in tough economic times, given that there is a multibillion-dollar budget deficit.

“This issue is like many facing the state where budget constraints prevent us from being able to do mass uniform replacement,” Solano told the Associated Press.

At one time, inmates were given new sets of clothes every six months, but that is no longer the case.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Curt

    These are inmates….in prison for committing a crime of some sort. Here’s an idea…..have them wash thier own underwear out in the sink in the cell and let it drip dry hanging from the bars of the cell. crisis averted!!

  • joyce

    So if they weren’t in jail they could change their underwear anytime they want… But, here you are in jail….. Who REALLY CARES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Rob

    Slow news day? if they wern’t in jail they wouldn’t have this problem. Did the watchdog group check on the victims to see how they were doing?

  • alo1020

    Thank You!! These guys and gals are in prison for committing crimes, sometimes murder, armed robberies, beating women and children etc etc. I personally have no affections for what happens to inmates who are GUILTY of Crimes. Washing their own underwear in the sink or the toilet in the cell is a solution to the problem. Who Cares!!! Good Riddance

  • Melody Gambrel

    I just wasted my time reading this! You go to jail = U lose freedom, duh. I will gladly trade my underwear for their free healthcare…that I cant afford!

  • Rick


  • Lyndia


  • annie k

    We went on a road trip from Chicago to St Louis and my spouse forgot to pack my underwear. I had only one pair and I was wearing them. The hotel had sample shampoos and i quickly washed out my undies, hung them up and had a fresh pair for the next day. I could have stopped and bought a few pair, but it was late and we were ready for bed.
    Why can’t an inmate wash out their underwear and dry them overnight ? Are they too busy? Don’t they have a bar of soap? What did we do before automatic washing machines?
    The sad part of this story is that John Howard Associates actually think someone gives a damn.

  • tom Sharp

    CBS should just stop reporting “news.” Between the nonsense stories like this one, the inane ramblings of Walter and the so-called sports writers (that don’t know at this late date that both Chicago baseball teams are losers) this station has lost all credibility!

  • Joe Patroni

    It’s too bad we have to house these people and pay for them. This is by far Illinois’ biggest budget buster. It is not a matter of poverty or lack of education or spending money on good schools and you will have less prisioners. These are individuals like Christopher Vaughn or Drew Peterson who made bad choices and need to be segregated from civilized society. Money or schools is not the answer to obviating the need for prisons. What if Al Queda flew the planes into a prison? Would anybody have cared?

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