Critics Say Dwight Prison Closure Pegs $54 Million Dollar Loss

DWIGHT — Closure of Dwight Correctional Center would take $53.7 million, or about 5 percent, from the regional economy, critics of the closure plan said Wednesday.

“We can’t absorb that the way big metro areas can,” said Larry Vaupel of the Greater Livingston County Economic Development Council. He was among officials from Dwight and the unions representing workers at Dwight Correctional Center who called a news conference Wednesday before the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability hearing on the closure plan at Dwight Township High School.

The commission took testimony on the closure proposal, but it is not expected to make a recommendation to Gov. Pat Quinn until late this month or early May. Illinois Department of Corrections Officials argue closing the 961-inmate prison would save the state almost $37 million per year.