SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) welcomed colleagues from the Illinois House and Senate to join him on a tour of the Pontiac Correctional Center on Monday, April 27th.
“This facility is very important to the residents of the Pontiac area, and is an important component of the entire Illinois correctional system,” said Sen. Barickman. “I hope the tour provided a deeper understanding for our newest legislators of how a facility like this functions.”
Sen. Barickman was joined on the tour by Representatives Tom Bennett (R-Watseka), Randy Frese (R-Quincy), Margo McDermed (R-Mokena), Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego), and Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign), along with representatives of the Illinois Department of Corrections and Pontiac Warden Randy Pfister.
“It was a very eye-opening experience, I did not know what to expect, though I had driven by many times over the years,” said Representative Tom Bennett. “Bottom line, it’s a different world to work and live in, it’s a no-nonsense environment, but the staff and administration look at each inmate as a person, and they obviously take great pride in what they do. This is an important asset to the district and to the state.”
The tour included visits to several areas of the prison, including the segregation, mental health, and protective custody housing areas. Lawmakers were able to see prisoners in their cells, and ask questions of corrections officials.
According to the Illinois Department of Corrections, the Pontiac Correctional Center has an average daily population of 2040 inmates, including 652 in the highest security segregation area. The average annual cost per offender is $31,274, and the facility employs 771, mostly from the Pontiac area.
Senator Barickman and colleagues meet with Pontiac Corrections officials before the tour.
Senator Barickman looks over exhibits in the PCC museum during the tour.