- Published: Thursday, May 19, 2016 04:11 PM
A measure to keep the Hardin Work Camp open, sponsored by State Senator Gary Forby (D-Benton), passed the Illinois Senate State Government and Veterans Affairs Committee on Wednesday.
The measure, House Bill 4326, provides that the Illinois Department of Corrections shall operate the Hardin County Work Camp. Gov. Bruce Rauner has been slowly siphoning off workers and inmates from the prison in an effort to sink an already struggling Southern Illinois economy.
“When Gov. Rauner said he wanted to close the Hardin Work Camp, I thought surely he must be joking,” said Forby. “Closing the work camp would be misguided and have a devastating impact on Southern Illinois communities.”
Last August the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability held a hearing to discuss the economic impact of closing several state facilities. The panel voted in favor of keeping Hardin County Work Camp open. Gov. Rauner still moved to close the facility.
“This facility is good for Southern Illinois,” Forby added. “It allows inmates to pay their debt to society while also developing skills, so once they are released they don’t come back. It reduces the rate of recidivism, and that is what we want.
The legislation passed out of committee Wednesday and will now go to the full Senate for consideration