Springfield…State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) joined a bipartisan effort on Tuesday to reopen the shuttered Hardin County Work Camp in Cave-in-Rock. Bryant, who co-sponsored the bill, spoke on the House floor and voted in support of Representative Brandon Phelps’ HB 4326.
“I am happy to offer my support to Representative Phelps in the effort to reopen the Hardin County Work Camp,” Bryant said. “As a retired veteran of the Department of Corrections, I have seen first-hand the impact that the Hardin County work camp has had in assisting southern Illinois with flood and disaster cleanup efforts, to provide organically grown food to the homeless population in our state, and the effect it has on recidivism and prison overcrowding. I am proud to have joined in a bipartisan manner today with Representative Phelps and my colleagues from southern Illinois on this important issue.”
Bryant also implored her colleagues in the House to support legislation she is sponsoring that would reopen and repurpose the Murphysboro work camp as an adult facility. Bryant announced HB 4340 at a press conference in November outside of the shuttered work camp. Bryant has also filed an accompanying resolution (HJR 105) designed to study the effectiveness of work camps in reducing Illinois’ prison population, increasing public safety, and reducing the rate of recidivism.
“Today I asked Representative Phelps to join me in supporting my bill that would reopen Murphysboro as an adult facility, and he obliged,” Bryant said. “I supported HB 4326 to reopen Hardin County Work Camp and asked for bipartisan support for two of my bills today on the House floor because I believe deeply in the positive effect that work camps can have. I asked Representative Phelps to help me convince Speaker Madigan to release my work camp bills from the Rules committee so they can get an up or down vote.”
Currently, Bryant’s HB 4340 and HJR 105 are in the Rules committee awaiting assignment to a House Committee.