Capital investments aim to modernize aging prisons, save State millions

The Logan Correctional Center in Lincoln
The Logan Correctional Center in Lincoln (Google Street View)

Chicago Construction News staff writer

In a move aimed at overhauling Illinois’ aging correctional infrastructure, Governor JB Pritzker, alongside the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC), has announced a groundbreaking plan to channel capital funds into the reconstruction of Logan Correctional Center in Lincoln and Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill. This initiative, part of the governor’s FY25 budget proposal, seeks to tackle critical infrastructure shortcomings while ushering in modernized, safer facilities for both staff and inmates.

Years of neglect and deferred maintenance have plagued the state’s correctional facilities, with Stateville and Logan emerging as two sites in dire need of attention. Governor Pritzker’s proposed capital investment plan aims not only to address these pressing issues but also to generate substantial savings for taxpayers. By allocating funds towards reconstruction efforts, the state anticipates saving hundreds of millions of dollars in deferred maintenance costs and annual upkeep expenses.

“This commitment to revitalizing Stateville and Logan underscores our dedication to fortifying Illinois’ infrastructure,” Gov. JB Pritzker said in a recent statement.”Our investments will ensure a safer environment for both staff and inmates, while also delivering significant cost savings for the state in the long run.”

The proposed capital budget includes approximately $900 million earmarked for the demolition and reconstruction of these facilities, with total construction costs estimated between $805 and $935 million. Beyond immediate improvements, the long-term benefits are projected to yield an average annual savings of $34 million through reduced overtime, maintenance, and utility expenses.

Pending capital appropriations in the FY25 budget, IDOC will collaborate closely with the Capital Development Board and stakeholders to initiate the rebuilding process. While plans entail the temporary closure and demolition of Stateville, the fate of Logan and the precise location of its replacement facility are subject to ongoing discussions with various stakeholders.

Acting Director of IDOC, Latoya Hughes, emphasized the significance of these investments in advancing the department’s commitment to safety and modernization. “This marks a pivotal moment in our ongoing efforts to ensure secure and up-to-date correctional environments,” stated Hughes. “Our approach combines fiscal responsibility with the imperative to address aging infrastructure.”

Furthermore, the commissioning of a 2023 report by CGL served as the foundation for identifying and prioritizing facility needs, guiding the selection of Stateville and Logan for reconstruction. Adhering to the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) process, construction will proceed only upon meeting all requirements outlined in the State Facilities Closure Act.

The design and construction phase is projected to span three to five years, during which IDOC will engage with stakeholders, including staff, labor unions, and incarcerated individuals, to ensure a seamless transition. Ahmadou Dramé, Director of the Illinois Justice Project, expressed support for the initiative, emphasizing the importance of humane conditions within correctional facilities.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.