Friday, December 02, 2016 10:50 AM
SPRINGFIELD — In response to a new study funded by the Department of Justice that found dire conditions among the inmate population at Logan Correctional Center, Majority Caucus Whip and Latino Caucus Co-Chair Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) released the following statement:
“I was strongly opposed to the closing of the Dwight correctional facility in 2013 and the transfer of female inmates, many of whom are from the Chicago area, to a state prison in Lincoln. As the new report states, this decision has put inmates and Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) staff in untenable conditions.
While I am not surprised by the report’s findings of overcrowding and dangerous conditions at Logan Correctional Center, the focus should be on improving the conditions at this facility. I will monitor the progress IDOC director, John Baldwin, makes and I offer my support in the Illinois Senate to speed up the improvements.”
The Dwight prison was closed by former Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration in 2013, and its inmates were transferred to Logan Correctional Center. This decision was made without a plan for a smooth transition to make the facility viable in the long term.
IDOC houses 2,000 women at Logan, including hundreds of inmates with mental health problems. The facility had previously held 1,500 men.
The study identified overcrowded conditions, overuse of harsh punishments, absence of training for personnel, constant leadership changes and a lack of “trauma-informed practices” as they related to women as problems at Logan Correctional Center.
A Chicago Tribune article has more information on the report’s findings.