Springfield….State Representative Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis) announced this week that Governor Pritzker has signed legislation he co-sponsored that creates a task force to study the possible reopening and repurposing of the shuttered Tamms Correctional Center’s Minimum Security facility.
“As the chief co-sponsor of HB 210, I want to thank Representative Bryant and Senator Fowler for their leadership and assistance in passing this very important piece of legislation unanimously through both the House and Senate,” Windhorst said. “The task force will study the feasibility of repurposing the shuttered Tamms Minimum Security prison into a vocational training facility for the Department of Corrections.”
Windhorst says the task force’s creation is a vital first-step in determining how best to use the vacant facility.
“Right now the facility has untapped potential,” Windhorst said. “If the Task Force determines it to be feasible, I can see a great potential for positive outcomes for repurposing the minimum security facility into a place where incarcerated individuals can learn important life skills that will help them transition back into being a productive member of society. Reopening Tamms minimum security facility could also help to alleviate overcrowding, make our correctional officers safer, and provide good paying jobs to an area that has been economically devastated.”
The task force will be made up in the following way: One member will serve as chair, appointed by the Lieutenant Governor, one member of the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, one member of the House of Representatives appointed by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, one member of the Senate appointed by the Senate President, one member of the Senate appointed by the Senate Minority Leader, the Director of Corrections or his or her designee, one member of a labor organization representing a plurality of Department of Corrections employees, one member representing Shawnee Community College appointed by the President of Shawnee Community College, one member representing Southern Illinois University, appointed by the President of Southern Illinois University, the Mayor of Tamms, Illinois, and one member representing Alexander County, appointed by the Chairman of the Alexander County Board.
The Task Force is required to submit its findings to the Governor and the General Assembly on or before December 31, 2020.