The Illinois Department of Corrections plans to establish temporary quarters at the Danville Correctional Center and five other prisons for minimum-security inmates. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees says plans to house inmates in prison gymnasiums is a direct result of plans to close the women’s prison in Dwight.
Gymnasiums at the prisons in Danville, Centralia, Canton, Vandalia, Vienna and Hillsboro will be temporarily serving as dormitory units for minimum security inmates.
Rick DePratt, President of AFSCME Local 2052 at the Danville Correctional Center, says the speculation is that another 100 inmates will be brought to the Danville prison.
DePratt noted that when the Danville Correctional Center opened its original capacity was 896 inmates. But now there are 1,840 to 1,870 inmates housed in Danville on a daily basis. And DePratt claimed ‘’the Department (DOC) is obviously not paying attention to the increase in violence and multiple staff assaults by adding more inmates and taking away gymnasiums where they get their recreational time.’’
DePratt says the plans to house minimum-security inmates at the medium-security prisons ‘’brings up a ton of safety issues.’’
DePratt also claims the move is going to put added stress on staff members while putting not only staff, but inmates, at extreme risk of being injured.