SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Gov. Bruce Rauner is ordering a former youth prison be re-opened as a center designed to reduce recidivism in an ongoing plan to reform criminal justice in Illinois.
The Republican announced Friday that the closed youth center in Murphysboro will be renovated as a “life skills and re-entry facility.” It will be a minimum-security prison focused on helping offenders live successfully outside of prison.
Inmates will receive educational, vocational and life-skills training. Rauner says Illinoisans “believe in second chances.”
He also directed that the infamous “roundhouse” at Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet be closed. It was built in 1922 and its round design creates safety concerns.
Rauner last year created a commission on criminal justice and sentencing reform aimed at reducing the prison population by 25 percent by 2025.