Hill Correctional Center

Hill Correctional Center

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Hill Correctional Center is a Level 2 Secure Medium adult male facility. Hill is located in northwest Illinois in the city of Galesburg, about three and a half hours away from Chicago and two hours away from Springfield.

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Executive Summary

John Howard Association (JHA) visited Hill Correctional Center (Hill) on May 31, 2011. Hill is designated a Level 2 Secure Medium Adult Male facility, and is located in north central Illinois in the city of Galesburg, about three and a half hours away from Chicago and two hours from Springfield . The facility sits on 71 acres of land, 38 acres within the security fences, and has a total of 29 buildings. It includes four housing units, one orientation/receiving unit, one segregation unit, an infirmary unit, and two main recreational yards.

When Hill first opened in 1986, it was intended to help alleviate overcrowded conditions in other facilities. Today, Hill faces serious overcrowding of its own. Originally designed to house 896 adult male inmates, on the day of JHA’s visit Hill housed 1830. Like many Illinois prisons, Hill’s greatest challenges include overcrowding, coupled with lack of staffing, equipment and funding needed to manage the ever-increasing population and provide essential services and rehabilitation opportunities.

The overall picture that emerged from JHA’s visit was of a comparatively well-functioning facility that regrettably is being pushed to the brink and far beyond its limits by lack of resources. Despite the aspirations of administration and staff to critically assess and make improvements at Hill, the blunt reality is that the Illinois Legislature and Governor created the underlying systemic problems of overpopulation, understaffing, and underfunding, and only they can fix these. Unfortunately, success invites failure in Illinois corrections, in that the more functional the facility, the more demands that are placed on it to accommodate greater and greater population - until the facility ultimately is rendered dysfunctional by overcrowding and inadequate resources. Absent decisive leadership by Illinois elected officials to address the issue of prison overcrowding, the judiciary inevitably will be left to address it through protracted and costly litigation.


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