Big Muddy Correctional Center


Big Muddy River Correctional Center (Big Muddy) is a medium-security male facility, located in Ina, Illinois, about five hours southwest of Chicago and three hours southeast of Springfield. Big Muddy is designated within the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) to house inmates who are civilly committed as Sexually Dangerous Persons (SDPs).

Read JHA's 2013 monitoring report. (PDF)

Vital Statistics:
Population: 1,890
Rated Capacity: 952
Average Age: 38
Average Annual Cost per Inmate (FY 2011): $16,250
Average Remaining Sentence Length: 3.5 years
Convicting Offense: 5% Murder, 36% Class X, 17% Class 1, 19% Class 2,
8% Class 3, 6% Class 4 felonies, and 9% unclassified.
Convicted in Cook County: 34%
Population by Race: 46% White, 42% Black, 12% Hispanic
Source: IDOC, March 2013

Key Observations

  • Administrators at Big Muddy recognize the need to provide inmates with tools for successful reentry.
  • Big Muddy benefits from dedicated staff and several outstanding programs, including substance abuse treatment and a housing unit dedicated to reentry preparation.
  • Mental health treatment at Big Muddy is inadequate, as the sex offender treatment programs are chronically understaffed and there is a backlog for Telepsych treatment.
  • Dental and eye care backlogs persist at the facility.
  • JHA has concerns about disabled inmates’ accommodations, particularly where they have difficulty participating in treatment.
  • The grievance process at Big Muddy has been ineffective and inmates report retaliation for reporting concerns.
  • Although JHA commends Big Muddy for recent efforts expanding their vocational offerings, as at other facilities, educational waitlists are substantial.