Vandalia Correctional Center

Vandalia Correctional Center is a male minimum-security prison. It is located in Vandalia, Illinois about four and a half hours south of Chicago and one and a half hours southeast of Springfield.

Read JHA's most recent report here.

Vital Statistics:

Population: 1,748
Population (May 2013): 1,708
Rated Capacity: 1,100
Average Age: 33
Average Annual Cost per Inmate (FY 2011): $18,636
Source IDOC 12/11/2012


Key Observations:

  • In February 2013, the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) announced that it would utilize gym space at Vandalia and other facilities for “temporary” housing. Since this time, almost 100 inmates awaiting transfer to IDOC boot camps have been housed in the Vandalia gym.
  • Administrators are to be commended for their efforts in adding 200 more inmate jobs, expanding dayrooms, a new recycling program, a successful gardening initiative, and the forthcoming privately-funded thoroughbred horse retirement program, all since JHA’s 2011 visit.
  • Despite efforts to expand opportunities for inmates, idleness remains a common inmate complaint at this minimum-security facility, where only 25 percent are enrolled in educational or vocational programming.
  • Other common inmate complaints at Vandalia included housing conditions, little time to eat, too much soy in the diet, poor condition of clothing, disrespect from security staff, and difficulty obtaining healthcare.
  • More nursing staff are required to address the needs of Vandalia’s population.

Read JHA's 2012 report. (PDF)

Read JHA's 2011 report . (PDF)