Bill aims to reduce uncertainty about Pontiac Prison’s future

Pontiac Correctional Center
Pontiac Correctional Center(25 News)
Published: Apr. 26, 2023 at 11:06 PM CDT
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PONTIAC (25News Now) - A Central Illinois lawmaker wants to protect Pontiac Prison’s future by calling on the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) to release a long-term plan for the prison.

State Sen. Tom Bennett (R-Gibson City) noted that back in 2008, IDOC announced plans to close the prison, but those plans were cancelled. Last year, the prison underwent a significant downsizing, as IDOC said it would close Pontiac’s medium-security unit and reduce its capacity form 1,740 beds to 642 beds.

“The Pontiac Correctional Center is an economic anchor for Livingston County and an important part of our state’s corrections system,” Bennett said in a prepared statement.

“We need to understand what the administration plans for the facility, so that the local community can prepare for any potential major changes and the ripples they could cause for the surrounding area. We also want to ensure that the administration is utilizing the facility in the best way to help the overall corrections system,” Bennett said.

Bennett said he filed Senate Resolution 215 that calls on IDOC to release a long-term plan for the prison’s buildings and maintenance, staffing levels and how Pontiac fits in the state’s overall corrections system.

Two guards were attacked at Pontiac last month.