As part of his effort toward criminal justice reform in Illinois, Gov. Bruce Rauner says his administration will close the “F House” cell house at the Stateville Correctional Center.
Stateville is an adult male maximum security prison located in suburban Will County.
Rauner made the announcement Friday in an opinion piece published in the Chicago Sun-Times.
The governor said his “administration will be closing Stateville Correctional Center’s F House, one of the state’s oldest and most costly prison housing units.”
“Built in 1922, F House is the only remaining ’roundhouse’ in use in the United States. It’s Panopticon layout is antiquated and creates safety and operational hazards for both staff and offenders. The structure itself is labor-intensive for staff and promotes a loud, chaotic environment for offenders,” he wrote.
“When also taking into account the $10.3 million in deferred maintenance costs for F House, Illinois is better served by investing its limited resources into housing units and community-based programs that meet current national best practices and help reduce recidivism.”
Additionally, the governor said his administration will be reopening and repurposing the Illinois Youth Center in Murphysboro.
The center, Rauner said, will be reopened as a “Life Skills and Re-Entry Facility, which is a minimum security facility with a focus on preparing offenders for a successful transition back into society through educational, vocational and life skills training.”
The changes represent “another important step to reform our criminal justice system,” the governor noted.
“Our administration will continue working with members of the legislature, the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority and other stakeholders so that we can continue to make meaningful progress on these reforms to accomplish our goal of improving outcomes and dramatically reducing Illinois’ prison population,” Rauner added.