Shawnee Correctional Center

Shawnee Correctional Center

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Shawnee Correctional Center is a medium-security male population facility. It is located approximately six hours south of Chicago and four hours south of Springfield near the southern border of Illinois in Vienna.

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Monitoring Reports

Executive Summary

On March 13, 2012, representatives of the John Howard Association (JHA) conducted a monitoring visit to Shawnee Correctional Center (Shawnee). During JHA’s monitoring visit, Shawnee’s administration stressed that most of the inmates at this medium-security facility have an out date and will see the streets again. However, overcrowding has made achieving Shawnee’s mission of successful reintegration difficult. It is unfeasible to accomplish everything the administration strives for without sufficient staff and resources. Shawnee has staffing shortages and is at 205 percent of its rated capacity. Additional counselors and educators to deliver services and security staff to maintain orderliness would help improve the facility.

The 28-year-old facility is beginning to show its age. Several major physical plant improvements are needed. Problem areas include roof leaks, paint, exterior windows, water heaters, laundry equipment, gutters and downspouts, steam boilers, and housing unit intercom systems. Administrators reported they are awaiting legislative approval for funding for most of these repairs.

Shawnee offers several notable programs for inmates including a 12-week lifestyle redirection program; a peer run five-day program given to all inmates entering Shawnee, TRAC 1 (“Trained, Reformed, and Capable”), which covers topics including STDs, men’s health, substance abuse, and criminal behavior; monthly “Hot Topics” speakers; peer educators; an impressive metal shop; and a new “Go Green” recycling program.

Although the facility has limited resources, administrators recognize inmates’ desire for more programming opportunities. As one solution to this problem, Shawnee was in the process of starting night classes for inmates who have day work assignments. Lakeland Community College has since begun classes and the facility plans to continue offering two courses at a time. JHA commends Shawnee for this responsiveness to inmate needs.

However, given lack of resources, programming including vocational and educational opportunity remains limited for most inmates. In fact, the July 2012 Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) Quarterly Report stated that at that time only 380 inmates at Shawnee, approximately 20% of the population, participated in vocational or educational programming.


Survey Reports