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December 9, 1999

Governor Sites New Women's Prison In Hopkins Park

HOPKINS PARK -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced that the Village of Hopkins Park is the site for a new 1,800 bed female multiple security prison. Ryan selected the Pembroke Township village from a list of three finalists presented by the Illinois Department of Corrections.

"After reviewing the qualifications and needs of the three site finalists, I believe that the best site for this new $80 million prison is Pembroke Township," Ryan said. "This new state of the art prison will not only help the state solve overcrowding problems within our correctional system, but it will provide a badly-needed economic boost for the citizens of southeastern Kankakee County."

Pembroke Township, which contains Hopkins Park, is statistically one of the poorest areas in the state and nation. The economic impact of this new facility will be immediate and long-lasting. The construction will take approximately two years and employ as many as 250 professional laborers. The facility will employ 958 permanent staff and operate on an annual budget of more than $48 million.

In addition to economic need, proximity to Cook County was an important factor in siting the new adult female facility. About 69 percent of Illinois' female inmate population are from Cook and the collar counties, and 84 percent of those women have children. The Hopkins Park site has direct access from Chicago via Interstate 57, and bus and train services are available in nearby Kankakee.

"It's in the best interests of these women and their children that they have regular visits and maintain family relationships while they are paying their debt to society," Ryan added.

The Illinois Department of Corrections received applications from 27 communities seeking to land the new women's prison and/or a proposed 288-bed juvenile facility.

"Corrections is honored to become part of Hopkins Park and Kankakee County," said Department of Corrections Director Donald N. Snyder, Jr. "We pledge to be a good neighbor for many years to come."

Also today, Ryan announced the selection of the west-central town of Rushville in Schuyler County as the site for the new $34 million juvenile facility.

"My thanks go out to all of the business leaders, municipal, township and county officials, legislators and average citizens who worked long and hard to submit applications for these two facilities," Ryan said, "In the long run, their efforts to map out an economic development strategy will serve their communities well."

The female multiple security correctional center in Hopkins Park is projected to open in the fall of 2002.


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