|State Rep. Terri Bryant was joined by front line correctional officers today for a press conference announcing
the introduction of a bill to reopen and repurpose the shuttered Murphysboro correctional facility. Bryant also announced her support for keeping the Hardin County Work Camp open. Bryant also introduced a resolution this week that would
establish a task force to study the effectiveness of work camps at reducing recidivism, crime and the overall prison population.
Murphysboro….Calling it a necessary step in reducing Illinois’ overcrowded prison population, State Rep. Terri Bryant (R – Murphysboro) announced Thursday that she has filed legislation aimed at reopening and repurposing the shuttered Illinois Youth Center at Murphysboro. During a press conference in front of the facility, which was closed in 2013 by Democrat Governor Pat Quinn, Bryant detailed her support for an accompanying resolution to study the effectiveness of work camps and adult rehabilitation facilities in reducing recidivism rates.
“I’m here today to announce that I have introduced legislation that would provide the funding and administrative support necessary to reopen and repurpose this institution as an adult correctional facility,” Bryant said. “When Pat Quinn closed this facility, he did it against the advice of everyone that knows anything about how the Department of Corrections works. Pat Quinn’s mistake needs to be corrected so we can reduce the overcrowding in our correctional facilities across this state. Our prisons are currently operating at 150% of their capacity. Opening Murphysboro as an adult correctional facility will provide a much needed relief outlet for the overburdened and overcrowded facilities that pose a danger to our front line staff and to inmates alike.”
Bryant also used the press conference to offer her public support for keeping the Hardin County Work Camp open and to announce she is working to create a task force to study the effectiveness of work camps in Illinois.
“I have reached out to Representative Brandon Phelps and offered my support and sponsorship of his bill to keep the Hardin County Work Camp open, and I have introduced the work camp study resolution because I truly believe in the effectiveness of the work camps,” Bryant said. “Work camps help reduce recidivism, which will help decrease our prison population and ultimately increase public safety and provide adult education, high school equivalency classes, vocational education, and community service opportunities that benefit surrounding communities and the incarcerated individual on their road to rehabilitation.”
Bryant said Phelps has offered his support and is co-sponsoring HB 4340, the bill to reopen Murphysboro as an adult correctional facility, and HJR 105, which creates the Task Force on Work Camp Rehabilitation.