Advocates protest unsafe drinking water at several Illinois prisons

Prison and environmental advocates spoke out Friday about the safety of drinking water in many Illinois prisons.

The group at the protest said incarcerated individuals at some Illinois prisons are forced to drink and shower with water that is unsafe and unclean. 

Advocates say harmful contaminants like legionella bacteria have been detected at those facilities and that some complaints about the drinking water date back decades.

They say the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has not done enough to address concerns about the water quality at these facilities.


Advocates at the rally say that more than 11,000 people are incarcerated at facilities where concerns have been raised about the water.

The Department of Corrections said it has established two contracts related to drinking water quality and testing and that they're working on a third.

It says the health and safety of prisoners is a priority of the Illinois Department of Corrections.