Facility Closure Act Summary

Here is a summary of the Facility Closure Act.

State Facility Closures

Per the State Facilities Closure Act (30 ILCS 608), “State facility” means any facility (i) that is owned and operated by the State or leased and operated by the State and (ii) that is the primary stationary work location for 25 or more State employees. “State facility” does not include any facility under the jurisdiction of the legislative branch, including the Auditor General, or the judicial branch.

Before a State facility may be closed:

  1. The State executive branch officer with jurisdiction over the facility shall file notice of the
    proposed closure with the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability
    within 2 days after the first public announcement of any planned or proposed closure
  2. Within 10 days after it receives notice of the proposed closure, the Commission, in its
    discretion, may require the State executive branch officer with jurisdiction over the facility
    to file a recommendation for the closure of the facility with the Commission.
    In the case of a proposed closure of: (i) a prison, youth center, work camp, or work release
    center operated by the Department of Corrections; (ii) a school, mental health center, or
    center for the developmentally disabled operated by the Department of Human Services; or
    (iii) a residential facility operated by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the Commission
    must require the executive branch officers to file a recommendation for closure.
  3. The recommendation must be filed within 30 days after the Commission delivers the
    request for recommendation to the State executive branch officer.
  4. A 30 day public comment period must follow the filing of the recommendation.
  5. The Commission, in its discretion, may conduct one or more public hearings on the
    recommendation. In the case of a proposed closure of: (i) a prison, youth center, work
    camp, or work release center operated by the Department of Corrections; (ii) a school,
    mental health center, or center for the developmentally disabled operated by the Department
    of Human Services; or (iii) a residential facility operated by the Department of Veterans’
    Affairs, the Commission must conduct one or more public hearings on the
    recommendation.
  6. Public hearings conducted by the Commission shall be conducted no later than 35 days
    after the filing of the recommendation. At least one of the public hearings on the
    recommendation shall be held at a convenient location within 25 miles of the facility for
    which closure is recommended. The Commission shall provide reasonable notice of the
    comment period and of any public hearings to the public and to units of local government
    and school districts that are located within 25 miles of the facility.
  7. Within 50 days after the State executive branch officer files the required recommendation, the Commission shall issue an advisory opinion on that recommendation. The Commission shall file the advisory opinion with the appropriate State executive branch officer, the Governor, the General Assembly, and the Index Department of the Office of the Secretary of State and shall make copies of the advisory opinion available to the public upon request.

The recommendation for closure must include:

  1. the location and identity of the State facility proposed to be closed;
  2. the number of employees for which the State facility is the primary stationary work location
    and the effect of the closure of the facility on those employees;
  3. the location or locations to which the functions and employees of the State facility would be
    moved;
  4. the availability and condition of land and facilities at both the existing location and any
    potential locations;
  5. the ability to accommodate the functions and employees at the existing and at any potential
    locations;
  6. the cost of operations of the State facility and at any potential locations and any other
    related budgetary impacts;
  7. the economic impact on existing communities in the vicinity of the State facility and any
    potential facility;
  8. the ability of the existing and any potential community’s infrastructure to support the
    functions and employees;
  9. the impact on State services delivered at the existing location, in direct relation to the State
    services expected to be delivered at any potential locations; and
  10. the environmental impact, including the impact of costs related to potential environmental
    restoration, waste management, and environmental compliance activities.

The requirements of the State Facilities Closure Act do not apply if all of the functions and employees of a State facility are relocated to another State facility that is within 10 miles of the closed facility.

Leaders, Community Members Take Action to Fight Dwight Prison Closure

Thirty-six year old Dan Dunlap is a corrections officer at Dwight Women’s Correctional Facility.

He’s worked there for 13 years.

“I’m from Dwight originally, my family lives in Dwight. And of course, I don’t want to move.”

So when Dunlap learned his job and his livelihood are on line, he and fellow co-workers joined forces with local lawmakers.

“We’re letting them know that Dwight Correctional Center is not closed,” said Dunlap. “We are open. And we are going to fight to stay open.”

The prison houses more than 1,000 inmates and has nearly 400 workers, making it one of the village’s largest employers.

Dwight Mayor Bill Wilkey is determined to educate people about the impact of its possible loss.

“A lot of them are saying, “Oh, this is just another ploy you know. But you can’t take it that way. You have to take it serious. Because this could really happen,” said Wilkey.

So lawmakers are getting to work, focusing on the stories of prison employees like Dunlap.

“We plan to work closely with those most affected by this and present their factual scenarios to the state so that the governor fully understands the ramifications,” said State Representative Jason Barickman.

“Dwight Correctional Center’s closure will have an enormous impact on the community,” adds Dunlap. “The amount of money as far as your fuel tax and property taxes. If people have to up root their families and leave.”

Other lawmakers say it doesn’t make sense to close the only women’s correctional facility in the state.

“It’s all about saving money, so Governor, make your pitch,” said State Senator Shane Cultra. “How much money are you going to save? Because you’re going to have to spend a lot of money on these other facilities to make them do what Dwight is doing now.”

Until a decision is set in stone, people in Dwight hope teamwork will help them make their case.

“I like the people. I like the county, and its home,” said Dunlap. “And I just…I want to stay.”

A public meeting will be held at Dwight Township High School on Monday March fifth at six pm.

Leaders will take action to educate people about the prison and ways they can work to keep it open.

via Leaders, Community Members Take Action to Fight Dwight Prison Closure.

Leaders discuss fight to save Dwight prison – WJBC – The Voice of Central Illinois

A number of community leaders gathered in Pontiac on Friday morning to brainstorm ideas on how to respond to the proposed closing of the Dwight prison.

A communitywide rally is in the planning stages and will likely take place at Dwight High School, with a date to be determined.

Dwight Correctional Center employee and AFSCME Local 1133 president Dan Dunlap said the prison is needed.

“The employees at the facility do a good job. They keep the public safe, and that is the issue,” said Dunlap.

State Rep. Jason Barickman, R-Champaign, said the move could be a ploy by Gov. Pat Quinn to give him leverage elsewhere.

“The governor has his agenda and last year, his agenda included spending billions of dollars more than our state had available to it. His way of promoting his agenda is to target areas of the state government that unfortunately create crisis situations,” said Barickman.

State Sen. Shane Cultra, R-Onarga, said the prison should stay open for a number of reasons.

“It is all about saving money, so governor – make your pitch on how much money you are going to save because you are going to have to spend a lot of money on these other facilities to make them do what Dwight is doing now,” said Cultra.

During a Cash Dash stop in Pontiac on Friday morning, State Treasurer Dan Rutherford also commented on the governor’s plans to close the Dwight Correctional Center.

“(Saving the prison) can only be done if a collective effort, and no one person’s ego, tries to take leadership and take possession of this drive,” said Rutherford.

via Leaders discuss fight to save Dwight prison – WJBC – The Voice of Central Illinois.

Rep. Barickman discusses plans to combat proposed Dwight Prison Closure – Illinois Review

On Friday, State Representative Jason Barickman (R-Champaign) hosted a meeting of community leaders, AFSCME representatives and other local officials do discuss Governor Quinn’s plan to shutter Dwight Correctional Center.

Representative Barickman led the meeting with a briefing of the State Facility Closure Act and the steps that must be taken before any state run facility can legally be closed. Barickman told the audience that the formal process has yet to begin, but once the official closure notice is filed it will require a minimum of 90 days before the prison can be forced to shut its doors.

“During those 90 days we will be hosting public hearings and comment periods to allow area residents to voice their concerns,” said Rep. Barickman. “The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) is also required to hold a public forum within the community to hear from witnesses regarding Dwight. This will be important because COGFA will vote on the Governor’s proposed closures, and while their vote is only in an advisory role it can carry serious influence over the Governor’s ultimate decision.”

“The community needs to know that the prison is open, and we’re going to fight to keep it open.” said Dwight Corrections Officer Dan Dunlap, President of Local 1133.

The meeting was also a chance for community leaders and officials to devise a strategy to fight the closing of Dwight Correctional Center. Among outreach opportunities discussed to rally support around Dwight were a petition drive, the formation of a facebook page at “Save Dwight Correctional Center”, and a letter/email campaign asking the Governor to reconsider his decision. Individuals who are interested in participating in these, as well as other ‘Save Dwight’ activities, are encouraged to contact Rep. Barickman’s office by phone at (815) 844-4642 or email Jason@jasonbarickman.org. Petitions can be obtained through the Representative’s office and at www.jasonbarickman.org.

A community meeting will be held Monday, March 5 at 6:00pm in the Dwight High School gymnasium to discuss efforts with the public.

“Its important that the whole community rally behind these efforts to save the prison.” said Dwight Mayor Bill Wilkey. “We have to show Governor Quinn and the legislature in Springfield that our community will fight for the Dwight Correctional Center.”

Barickman also provided those in attendance with basic facts regarding Dwight Correctional Center.

Dwight Correctional Center is the only female maximum security facility in the State of Illinois. There are only two other women’s facilities in the State, Lincoln (medium security) and Decatur (minimum security).

Dwight currently houses approximately 1,000 female inmates and has a staff of around 340 people.

In FY11, Dwight was appropriated $37,284,200. In FY12, Dwight was appropriated $36,950,800.

The Illinois corrections system is designed to house 33,000 inmates. It is currently housing close to 48,000.

While there has not been an “intent to close” filed with the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA), which triggers the timeline for the Facility Closure Act, there are reports as to what the Department of Corrections intends to do with these inmates.

Currently, Lincoln is a medium security female facility located in Lincoln and Logan is a medium security male facility located nearby also in Lincoln. The reported plan is to convert Lincoln to a male facility to house the Logan inmates; and change Logan into a female facility to house both the current Lincoln women and the transfers from Dwight Correctional Center.

via Rep. Barickman discusses plans to combat proposed Dwight Prison Closure – Illinois Review.

Dwight civic leaders vow to fight closure of prison

Bill Wilkey still runs the type of barbershop where there are no strangers, and local residents gather each morning to talk about the news of the day.

Wilkey also moonlights as Dwight’s village president, so his customers feel comfortable that they are getting the news straight from the source.

“Once in a while, he knows what he’s talking about,” said Dwight resident Dick Burkhart.

So it was no surprise Wednesday morning when every seat in the shop was taken, even if only a handful came in for a haircut.

The topic of discussion was Gov. Pat Quinn’s proposal to close Dwight Correctional Center, a maximum-security women’s prison that houses 1,018 inmates and employs about 355.

“That would be devastating for our town,” Wilkey said. “You have to wonder what goes into their decision making on these things. A year ago, they wanted to close (a prison in) Lincoln. Now, a year later, here we are and they say they want to transfer the prisoners from here to Lincoln. None of this makes sense.”

Wilkey said community and county leaders have started discussions on how to fight the plan.

“Pontiac did a real good job when they went through this a few years ago, so I am going to visit with the mayor and city administrator there and get their thoughts,” he said of successful efforts to turn back then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s plan in 2008 to close the prison in that city.

Wilkey said William Fox Development Center in Dwight, which serves people with development disabilities, has been a rumored closure target, but he did not expect the prison to be on the list.

“This just blows my mind,” he said. “They keep trying to close these downstate facilities, but people get upset and protest against it and so they change their mind and find a new one to go after the next year.”

Larry Vaupel, the CEO of the Greater Livingston County Economic Development Council, spent Wednesday morning in Dwight, meeting with Wilkey and other local leaders.

“One thing we know we are going to do is drown them with data,” Vaupel said of the fight to keep the prison open. “We will get the economic study done and show what this prison means to the community and the county. We will fight this countywide.”

Read More: Dwight civic leaders vow to fight closure of prison.

Politicians ready to fight Dwight prison closure, ‘It would be a devastation to lose and we’re in shock right now’ – MyWebTimes.com

Following Gov. Pat Quinn’s proposal to shut down Dwight Correctional Center, local officials plan to meet Friday to discuss a strategy to keep the prison open.

Part of the governor’s budget proposal includes closing the 81-year-old facility Aug. 31, saving the state about $27.7 million in 2013 and $37.3 annually.

The lone maximum-security female prison houses 980 prisoners and employs 350 people.

“You can’t put into words how vital the correctional center is to our area,” said Dwight Mayor Bill Wilkey. “It would be a devastation to lose and we’re in shock right now. We’ll know more after Friday where we go next.”

Sam Zito, a Streator resident who is retiring soon, is just one of many people in La Salle County who work at the facility. He declined to comment on the issue, but confirmed “each shift has a multitude of folks from Streator and La Salle County.”

Just four years ago, former Gov. Rod Blagojevich targeted Pontiac Correctional Center for closure. Individuals from that effort will be in attendance Friday. State Rep. Jason Barickman, R-Champaign, and state Sen. Shane Cultra, R-Onarga, are also expected to attend.

Quinn proposes 980 Dwight female inmates relocate to Logan Correctional Center, where 1,986 beds would be converted to all-female.

Lincoln Correctional Center would convert to all-male. In addition, 1,000 female prisoners will be relocated from Lincoln to Logan.

Some Dwight staff will have the opportunity to fill vacancies at other nearby facilities, including Pontiac (22 miles), Stateville (45 miles) and Sheridan (45 miles).

“You don’t address an overcrowding population by cutting capacity,” said Anders Lindall, a union spokesman for Dwight prison employees. “We’re already holding more than 50,000 prisoners in a capacity built for 33,000. Cuts are only going to make things worse.”

Quinn cited significant capital upgrades would be necessary to keep Dwight open totaling approximately $11.6 million. These repairs include showers, roofing, building rehabs and water treatment upgrades.

Barickman cited the public’s safety as well as the economic impact to the area as concerns with the proposal.

“It’s important to remember this is only a proposal made by the governor,” Barickman said. “The process to close a correctional facility is a lengthy one and takes tremendous oversight from the Legislature, including myself.”

Barickman said he is preparing a petition available to citizens. A public meeting will likely be scheduled after Friday.

“Does he not realize that the Department of Corrections has a maximum capacity, and we are busting at the seams?” Cultra asked. “We will be working over the next several weeks to present a united front, because we are in this fight for the long-haul.”

via Politicians ready to fight Dwight prison closure, ‘It would be a devastation to lose and we’re in shock right now’ – MyWebTimes.com.

Village Fears Dwight Prison Closure Could Wipe Out Community

The village’s correctional facility for women employs hundreds of people.

So when community members got news that Governor Quinn wants to close the prison, it wasn’t taken lightly.

Maria Ahmedi has owned the Old Route 66 Family Restaurant in Dwight for 10 years.

She says prison employees are some of her biggest customers.

“We get orders everyday from the prison and a lot of people come in and patronize us, mostly everyday,” said Ahmedi. “So yeah, I feel it’s really going to affect us.”

Her son Luan is a freshman in college.

He relies on the restaurant to help pay for his education.

“They always order big deliveries pretty much,” said Ahmedi. “I’d say probably a good quarter of our deliveries are to the prison.”

The family fears if the correctional center closes, their restaurant could too.

“Lot of people are going to be out of jobs,” said Ahmedi. “If the prison does close, we are, we will probably be hurting.”

Bill Branz is a frequent customer at Old Route 66.

He says the governor’s proposal to close Dwight prison is outrageous.

“It’s going to kill the town. It’s going to kill the community,” said Branz. “It’s just job after job after job that’s going to be lost.”

Dwight’s Mayor Bill Wilkey is still in shock.

He says the prison is one of the Dwight’s largest employers.

If it closes, the number of people left without work is too difficult for him to think about.

“I really don’t know how to really put it into words home much it would hurt us. But it definitely would be really devastating to us,” said Wilkey.

Until a decision is reached Mayor Wilkey says he’ll do everything in his power to make sure the prison stays put.

He plans on contacting local lawmakers and community members to gather their support on the issue.

The center houses more than 1,000 inmates.

If it closes, the governor plans to move them to the Logan Correctional Center in Lincoln.

via Village Fears Dwight Prison Closure Could Wipe Out Community.

Dwight vows to fight prison closure – WJBC – The Voice of Central Illinois

Officials in Dwight are trying to find out why Gov. Pat Quinn has proposed the closure of the Dwight Correctional Center.

The maximum-security prison housing female inmates has a current population of just over 1,000. But Dwight Village President Bill Wilkey said Wednesday that he hears from guards at the prison that it’s overcrowded as is.

“I don’t know what the governor is thinking,” Wilkey said. “Is he trying to use this as some sort of leverage to try and get something else?”

Wilkey runs a barbershop in town, where some of the guards get their hair cut. He said he’ll do whatever he can to fight the prison closure.

Closure details

In his budget speech Wednesday, Quinn said 59 state facilities, offices, garages and other governmental buildings will close during the coming year. The two targeted prisons are in Dwight and the “supermax” prison in Tamms. Also on the closure list are four mental institutions and two prisons for juveniles.

The closures will result in 1,164 layoffs, including 350 in Dwight, though some would have the opportunity to fill vacancies at other DOC facilities.

“They impact every region in our state, but the need for lower spending in our budget gives us no choice,” Quinn said Wednesday.

The Dwight closure, expected by Aug. 31, would save taxpayers $27 million in fiscal year 2013 and $37.3 million the next year, officials said. Dwight is aging and has “critical maintenance needs” totaling about $11.6 million, officials said.

Inmates from Dwight would go to the Logan Correctional Center. (Lincoln Correctional Center would be converted to an all-male facility to help offset the loss of male beds at Logan.) But all three prisons are already operating at, or close to, their maximum capacities, according to IDOC data. Officials say bed space throughout the DOC system would be adjusted to accommodate the closures.

The Tamms inmates would be transferred to the maximum-security wing at Pontiac Correctional Center.

“The other thing that I do not understand is, before Quinn was trying to take everything away from Logan County, he was going to close this he was going to close that,” Wilkey said. “At once he does a flip-flop and now he’s moving everything down there, so is someone lining his pockets, or what?”

Wilkey said he’ll do whatever he can to fight the prison closure. He said officials will also be talking to Grundy County about the employees who commute to Dwight.

via Dwight vows to fight prison closure – WJBC – The Voice of Central Illinois.

Disagreement over prison closure plan

Gov. Pat Quinn’s plan to close two adult prisons, two youth lockups and six halfway houses for soon-to-be-released inmates was met with mixed reviews Wednesday.

Labor union officials representing workers at the facilities panned the proposal as a “reckless” idea that could make the state’s overcrowded adult prison system more dangerous.

But some advocacy groups praised parts of the decision, saying some of the state’s correctional facilities should be shuttered.

The governor wants to close the state’s lone super-maximum security prison in Tamms and the state’s only maximum-security prison for women in Dwight. He also proposes to close youth prisons in Murphysboro and Joliet and shutter six adult transitional facilities, including those in Carbondale and Decatur.

Quinn aides put the total savings at $83 million.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union, which represents more than 1,100 workers affected by the potential changes, said closing Tamms and Dwight could destabilize an already-shaky prison system because of the unique roles each institution plays.

“The pattern of this administration’s response to this dangerous overcrowding has been troubling,” AFSCME Council 31 spokesman Anders Lindall said. “The plan seems convoluted and ill-conceived and could have reckless ripple effects.”

John Maki, executive director of the John Howard Association, agreed that the overcrowding within the system raises red flags.

“These places are already dangerous,” Maki said. “Without a reduction in population, I think this is ill conceived.”

Maki said closing Dwight “makes no sense.”

Under the plan, prisoners in Dwight would be moved to Logan Correctional Center. The currently all-female Lincoln Correctional Center would be switched to all-male. Prisoners at Tamms would be moved to the maximum-security Pontiac Correctional Center.

Read More: Disagreement over prison closure plan.

Quinn’s Facility Closures Won’t Come Easily | WUIS – My Source for News

To members of the Illinois House and Senate, fiscal austerity sounds great. Until it comes to your home district.

By closing all those facilities, Quinn says Illinois could save nearly $89 million in the next fiscal year alone. He says the closures and consolidations are “hard — but necessary.”

“They impact every region in our state, but the need for lower spending in our budget gives us no choice,” Quinn says. “In times like these, we must be accountable — and responsible.”

Quinn and his budget officials have emphasized “every region of our state” because Republicans say past attempts at closures have unfairly targeted their districts.

This time the political pain is being spread around. Take the two prisons Quinn wants to close: Dwight Correctional Center is a women’s facility about 90 minutes southwest of Chicago. It’s in a House and Senate district represented by Republicans. In far Southern Illinois, the super-max Tamms Correctional Center is represented by two Democrats, including Sen. Gary Forby from Benton.

“I don’t know. I’m mad,” Forby says. “I don’t know why it’s closing. I think he’s doing the wrong thing.”

Forby says the state’s prisons are already overcrowded.

“But you know if he keeps closing prisons — he keeps shutting down — you know we ought to pass conceal-and-carry because we’re going to have to protect ourselves,” Forby says. “Because we ain’t got no — we don’t have no place to put our people. We’re already over 15,000 people over population now.”

A common knock on Quinn’s previous attempts to close state facilities is that he doesn’t have a plan for what to do with the people who would be displaced.

But at least on the prisons, his budget proposal is specific. Tamms has about 400 inmates. About half are in the “super-max” wing, doing the hardest time in the state. Those prisoners will be transferred to the maximum security wing at Pontiac Correctional Center. The other half of Tamms’ inmates — minimum security — will be relocated accordingly.

The move will let the state lay off 300 employees. But two other prisons are within 40 miles of Tamms, and Quinn says some workers may be able to continue their careers.

Read More: Quinn’s Facility Closures Won’t Come Easily | WUIS – My Source for News.