Rep. Patrick Windhorst
Illinois state Rep. Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis) is touting his persistency in working for the passage of a bill that paves the way for a task force to begin studying potential usages of the now shuttered Tamms Correctional facility.
“As the chief co-sponsor of HB 210, I want to thank Representative (Terri) Bryant (R-Murphysboro) and Senator (Dante) Fowler (R-Harrisburg) for their leadership and assistance in passing this very important piece of legislation unanimously through both the House and Senate,” Windhorst said in a press release. “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 views the creation of the task force as a first step in what he realizes could be a long journey.
WSIL reports an investment of several million would be needed to get the facility back in operational condition due to issues with mold and other problems.
“Right now the facility has untapped potential,” he added. “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, which will include members appointed by the Lt. Governor, Speaker of the House and Senate President, is required to submit a report of its findings to the Governor and the General Assembly by the end of the year.
The Tamms Correctional facility has been closed now for almost seven years with lawmakers making the move as a way of cutting costs and addressing reports of inhumane conditions.