Lawmakers to tour Pontiac Prison next week, says Sen. Bennett

Pontiac Correctional Center
Pontiac Correctional Center(Gray)
Published: Jul. 28, 2023 at 8:05 PM CDT
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PONTIAC (25News Now) - A state senator whose district includes Pontiac says he’ll lead other Illinois lawmakers on a tour next week of Pontiac Prison, which is targeted for significant downsizing after a consultant reviewed dire conditions at state prisons.

Republican Sen. Tom Bennett’s 53rd District includes Pontiac. He released a statement Friday saying he’s organizing the tour to help lawmakers get a better understanding of the needs of the prison, which the consultant’s report described as one of the worst in Illinois’ correctional system.

The same report by consultant CGL Companies also recommended that Logan County Correctional Center in Lincoln, the women’s prison, close down completely because it’s so badly in need of costly maintenance.

“It’s a shame that this administration has not prioritized the necessary maintenance and upgrades to the state’s correctional facilities,” said Bennett, who said both prisons are at risk of closure.

“We must take better care of our prisons so that we can ensure adequate living and working conditions for the safety of both the staff and residents,” Bennett said.

CGL proposes the state cut Pontiac’s maximum capacity by more than half to 622 inmates, from just over 1,400 as recently as August of last year.

The consultant said Pontiac has the second highest deferred maintenance of all state prisons at $235 million. CGL estimates the entire Illinois prison system needs $2.5 billion in repairs.