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Murderer: Stateville Squeezing Inmates at Prison Store

A convicted murderer has petitioned the Will County court with a complaint about Stateville charging too much for commissary.

It's bad enough having to pull an 80-year prison sentence, but when they start overcharging you for soap, toothpaste and deodorant, something's got to give.

A convicted murderer locked up at Stateville Correctional Center filed a petition in Will Count Court claiming that he's been subjected to price-gouging by prison officials.

In his court filing, Robert Hernandez, 51, accuses Department of Corrections officials of flaunting a recommendation by the Illinois Auditor General to review the markup on items sold in prison commissaries.

Stateville, and other correctional centers, slaps a 25 percent increase on items sold from prison commissaries, according to the petition. The extra prison tax is 35 percent on tobacco products, the filing claims.

The surcharge is ostensibly in place to offset the wages and benefits of commissary employees, said an exhibit attached to the filing, but the markup does not match up with state law or the Unified Code of Corrections.

Hernandez raised the issue to the Stateville grievance officer but did not find satisfaction, according to the petition. He then appealed to the Department of Corrections' Administrative Review Board but was again rejected, the filing said.

Hernandez was convicted of murdering his girlfriend and trying, but failing, to murder a man he found her in bed with in 1986. He was living in Romeoville at the time of the killing and committed the murder in Downers Grove, according to court papers. He stabbed both his girlfriend and the other man with a pair of scissors.

Hernandez is up for parole in 2026.

In addition to forcing the Department of Corrections to reduce the surcharge on commissary items, Hernandez wants his commissary account credited for "all ill-gotten funds since Nov. 1, 2005." He figures that amounts to about $542.26.

In his filing, Hernandez pointed out that the prison commissary is the only place he can purchase such essentials as soap, toothpaste, deodorant, thermal underwear, gloves, hats, shoes, summer shorts, sunblock, aspirin, writing and correspondence material, and a fan.

He also noted that Stateville is locked down 23 hours a day, seven days a week and is "not air-conditioned, nor is there windows within the cells, making the fan (a) necessity."

R. Paxson December 15, 2012 at 07:43 PM
Leave it to the press to remind us of the atrocities going on in the cell block. Instead of writing about poor Mr. Hernandez, maybe Hosey should send him a monthy check covering the cost of the "surcharge" thereby sparing us his prose and the public cost of Hernandez's litigation effort.
John December 16, 2012 at 11:31 AM
Give him the option to shop at Jewel without a preferred card. That will get him to shut up about the markup. And what happened to the chain gangs? They need to drag these inmates out and have them pick up garbage or some other type of beautification. This area would be a lot nicer if they made these inmates clean it up.
Patty Northrop December 16, 2012 at 03:35 PM
You are confusing your Bernies. Bernie Mac was a comedian that is dead. Bernie Madoff is serving prison time.
Paul Thomas December 17, 2012 at 06:20 PM
I knew Jolene and for those of us that knew her well - We called her Jodie.... Hernandez was always and still is a total piece of S_ _ T!!!! You cant help who you fall in love with and because of that? Jodie sure did pay the ultimate price.. All the Hernandez brothers were pure scum and the Romeoville police had numerous run ins with them back in the day.. They were one of the many trouble makers and street trash that roamed the streets of Romeoville.. I grew up in Romeoville so I know what I speak of.. He and another scum named Dinky Wright tried getting rough with me & my buddy one day at Hampton Park in Romeoville and got what they had coming which was a solid a$$ whooping.. The state should have executed this piece of trash, I would have gladly pulled that lever then stood there to watch him head smolder.. Who cares that he has no air conditioning or that the toothpaste cost more.. Knock his teeth out then he will not need the toothpaste anymore.. I'm mad that he gets to have a fan but yet he complains that he has to pay for it? He mutilated Jodie with a pair of scissors, have any idea how long something like that takes to do with a pair of scissors? Not to mention it's more personal when you stab/mutilate someone because your hands are used repeatedly while committing that act of crime..There is a constant thought of hate going on.. Locked down 23 hrs a day? Boo Hoo!!! Animals like him should be caged 24 hrs a day. Anyone that dont like what I posted? Too bad!
rose February 27, 2013 at 08:41 PM
Ya I cld say every inmate sld be treated rite...dn't judge no-one til u"judge ur self...

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