Pinckneyville Correctional Center
Pinckneyville Correctional Center
Pinckneyville Correctional Center, a Level Two Secure-Medium Adult Male facility situated on 148 acres of land in Pinckneyville, Illinois, about five and a half hours southwest of Chicago. Pinckneyville, which opened in 1998, is comprised of 19 buildings and is located adjacent to the DuQuoin Impact Incarceration Program, a short-term rehabilitative boot camp, which is overseen by Pinckneyville’s administration.
On November 15, 2011 the John Howard Association (JHA) visited Pinckneyville Correctional Center (Pinckneyville), a Level Two Secure-Medium Adult Male facility situated on 148 acres of land in Pinckneyville, Illinois, about five and a half hours southwest of Chicago. Pinckneyville, which opened in 1998, is comprised of 19 buildings and is located adjacent to the DuQuoin Impact Incarceration Program, a short-term rehabilitative boot camp, which is overseen by Pinckneyville’s administration.
Pinckneyville has five X-shaped housing units. Four and one-half units are dedicated to housing general population inmates, while the remaining one-half housing unit is set aside for segregation inmates. The segregation unit consists primarily of double-bunk cells and has the capacity to house 231 inmates. On the date of JHA’s visit, the unit was near to capacity, housing a total of 224 inmates. Pinckneyville additionally contains a 15-bed medical unit, which housed five inmates on the date of JHA’s visit. The facility does not contain a mental health unit or separate mental health housing.
Like many Illinois facilities, limited bed space, scarce resources, and understaffing (particularly of medical, mental health, teaching, and clerical staff) are challenges for Pinckneyville. The facility was originally designed to house inmates in single-occupancy cells. However, like most Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) facilities, double-celling is now the norm at Pinckneyville due to crowding. In total, Pinckneyville contains 1,110 double cells, 24 multi-occupancy cells, and 48 single cells. As of February 2012, the facility, with its rated/design capacity of 2,434, was nearly full, housing 2,425 inmates.1
When JHA visited Pinckneyville in November 2011, the facility had been struggling with serious physical plant issues. Administrators acknowledged that it can be very challenging to operate and maintain a facility. They noted that they have been operating with original equipment from when Pinckneyville opened in 1998, which they said speaks volumes about the facility’s maintenance department, the preventive maintenance protocols, and work to be fiscally responsible. Administrators reported that they will continue to have repair and maintenance work on an everyday basis to maintain the facility, largely due to the amount of use that takes place in a prison setting. Further, they noted the facility is required to have emergency protocols in place to address any issue as it may occur, such as an act of god situation that damaged the physical plant structure.
On July 27, 2010, four representatives of the John Howard Association conducted a monitoring tour of Pinckneyville Correctional Center. Pinckneyville is a medium security prison with more than 2,200 male inmates.
The JHA representatives found significant problems in medical staffing, kitchen sanitation, library services, educational programs and inmate housing. In general, prison management appears to be attempting to address the problems.
Some of the problems noted in this report can be resolved by Pinckneyville management. Others may require intervention by senior management of the Illinois Department of Corrections. A problem nearly universal in Illinois prisons – too many inmates in too little space – can be resolved only at the highest levels of state government.