After touring the shuttered Dwight Correctional Center this week, Senator Jason Barickman says portions have the potential to be used again somehow.
The Bloomington Republican says the state first needs time to determine possible functions and cost options for the former women’s facility that closed in early 2013.
“I think the administration recognizes that something must be done with this, and it may require investment from the state, and it may require looking at creative ways to either use another governmental entity type of purpose, or a private-public partnership,” Barickman said.
Barickman says the next step means appraising the property, offering it to other state agencies, or private entititie-- which could take six months or more.
A native of the Dwight area, Barickman says Governor Quinn’s decision to close the prison as a cost-cutting move has had a ‘detrimental’ effect on the community, directly affecting more than 350 jobs.
The Senator also says it’s clear the prison grounds haven’t been maintained for the past several months, and the administration has a responsibility for it, regardless if it’s being used.