Study: Hardin Work Camp closure would not result in job losses

SPRINGFIELD — The proposed closure of a Southern Illinois prison work camp will not result in any of the workers losing their jobs, a new report says.

In a letter outlining Gov. Bruce Rauner’s plan to shutter the 35-year-old Hardin County Work Camp, state prison officials say there are enough vacancies at the Shawnee and Vienna prisons to accommodate the 61 employees currently working at the camp.

In June, Rauner announced the closure of the 280-inmate work camp and the Illinois State Museum as part of a cost-cutting move after lawmakers sent him a spending plan that was more than $3 billion short of revenue.

According to the report, the closure will save an estimated $1 million annually. The state also can avoid having to spend as much as $9.8 million in construction upgrades, including a new kitchen, electrical work and water treatment improvements.