Guess the State that Spent $2.26M on Cable TV for Prisons

December 6, 2012

The Illinois Department of Corrections spent approximately $2.26 million on cable TV subscriptions for its prison facilities in 2010-2012, according to the Illinois Policy Institute.

Through a Freedom of Information Act request (FOIA), the Illinois Policy Institute determined that the Illinois Department of Corrections spent $2,261,009 on cable television for prison inmates between specifically July 2010 and June 2012.

Popular channels in TV subscriptions included MTV, CMT, Fox Sports, ESPN, Lifetime, BET, the Home Shopping Network, Speed and Spike TV.

"Spending more than $2 million on cable TV for inmates is something Illinois can't afford, especially considering the state's already costly prison system," according to the Nov. 19 Illinois Policy Institute report entitled "2012 Piglet Book," co-authored by Benjamin VanMetre and Ted Dabrowski.

"It should be worrisome that the state is wasting taxpayer dollars to fund multimillion dollar cable bills for inmates. Instead of watching Snooki on MTV, maybe inmates' attention would be better focused on learning a trade skill or studying for a degree," the report said.

Based on the FOIA responses provided by the Illinois Department of Corrections, most prison facilities had TV subscriptions that included entertainment channels in addition to basic channels, such as NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX.

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