PONTIAC – State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) and other state lawmakers toured Pontiac Correctional Center during a visit hosted by the Illinois Department of Corrections and Senator Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) on Monday.

“This tour reinforced the need to maintain safe, effective operations that protect guards, staff and the communities these facilities reside in. It’s always valuable for lawmakers to see how our votes impact facility operations and — more importantly — people’s lives,” Cullerton said.

Pontiac Correctional Center houses maximum- and medium-security inmates as well as inmates with mental health issues.

“With all of our budget constraints, we need to make funding decisions with as much information as possible.” said Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake). “Seeing facilities first-hand helps us understand their needs and the needs of the larger community.”

“After twenty years in the Cook County Sheriff’s office, I’m very familiar with the needs of the local criminal justice system. The Cook County Sheriff’s office is obviously quite different from the Department of Corrections, but we do face many of the same challenges. Adequate funding, understaffing and guard safety are concerns all correctional facilities face. It is up to us to continue to advocate on behalf of these issues,” Senator Bill Cunningham (D-Chicago) said.

“Many legislators – particularly the newly elected members — are not familiar with the inner workings of our Department of Corrections. As the senator representing the Pontiac Correctional Center, I am offering legislators the opportunity to see firsthand how a maximum security prison operates. Public safety and corrections issues are too important for decisions to be made without adequate information. They will see the day-to-day tasks performed by both the Corrections staff and the inmates,” Barickman said.

The 37-acre, 36-building facility houses inmates in segregation, administrative detention, protective custody and reintegration management programs.

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District Office
338 S. Ardmore Ave.
Villa Park, IL 60181
P: (630) 903-6662
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122 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
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