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August 24, 2000

Ryan Announces Conversion of Lincoln Prison to a Women's Facility

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced that the Lincoln Correctional Center will be converted to an all-women facility within the next few months. Female inmates currently at the Dixon and Logan Correctional Centers, which are co-correctional, will be transferred to Lincoln.

"Managing both women and men at the same facility makes a difficult job even more difficult. Converting the Lincoln prison into an all-women facility will make the job of supervising inmates easier for correctional officers," Ryan said.

"It will also enable to Department of Corrections to provide a continuum of program services better tailored to the needs of female inmates. These programs can help keep the children of inmates part of a family unit when it will benefit their development."

Women are the fastest growing component of the State's prison population; 2,832 women inmates represent 6.3 percent of the prison population. In 1990, there were 1,191 female inmates or 4.4 percent of the prison population. Last year Governor Ryan announced that a new 1,800-bed women's prison would be constructed at Hopkins Park in Kankakee County.

There are 352 women inmates at the Dixon prison and another 522 at Logan. The Lincoln Correctional Center houses 953 men. Logan became a co-correctional facility in 1987 and Dixon in 1989.

The majority of the inmates currently housed at the Lincoln Correctional Facility will be sent to the Logan Correctional Facility. The remaining inmates will be sent to a comparable correctional facility geographically close to there families.

"Making Lincoln into an all-female facility makes a lot of sense," Correctional Director Donald N. Snyder, Jr. "It eliminates the duplication and cost of services to both men and women at co-correctional prisons. It provides a geographical region that will make it easier for children, especially those from the Chicago area, to visit their mothers at Dwight, Lincoln and Decatur, which opened in January 2000, and Hopkins Park when that facility is constructed and becomes operational."

Snyder said Lincoln employees would be provided with special training for duties dealing with managing a female inmate population.


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