Illinois inmates aid tornado recovery efforts

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois state prison inmates are among those who have been taking part in recovery efforts after last month’s deadly tornadoes.

The Illinois Department of Corrections says department staff and inmates have helped with debris removal.

The two dozen tornadoes that swept across Illinois on Nov. 17 damaged or destroyed more than 2,400 homes and killed seven people.

Corrections Director S.A. Godinez said involving inmates in such work helps them develop a sense of self-respect and an ability to better integrate back into society upon their release.

Altogether, 113 inmates took part in the cleanup efforts in the small communities of Gifford and Brookport.