The Illinois Department of Corrections Director issued a memorandum to Vandalia Correctional Center employees last Wednesday, stating that the prison is not closing.
In the memo, IDOC Director Rob Jeffreys addressed concerns that had been circulating around the status of the VCC since earlier this year.
With the release of a memorandum from the Illinois Department of Corrections to the Staff of Vandalia Correctional Center, Vandalia Mayor Ricky J. Gottman said in a release that he is quite pleased at the news. “I would like to thank Governor Pritzker and his staff, Illinois Department of Corrections and their staff and all others who have been working hard behind the scenes towards a solution to this matter. In a phone meeting with the Governor’s office and representatives of IDOC last Thursday, July 7, 2022, I felt good about where this matter was heading. The attached memorandum for the Department of Corrections was a result of that call.”
As stated in the memorandum, IDOC distributed a proposed Consolidation/Conversion Overview in February of this year, which would allow the agency to efficiently operate the facility and better serve the population and staff by moving things around.
“In my tenure as Mayor, I have always worked for the betterment of our great city and its residents and employees,” Gottman said. “It has never been a political matter in any way when it comes to my office. Supporting and maintaining the Vandalia Correctional Center is not a political matter, it is a community matter.”
As of last Wednesday, the current population for VCC is 458 offenders.
Here is the memo in its entirety:
To Vandalia staff
From: Rob Jeffreys Your Director
I want to dispel some false information that is being spread throughout the state and specifically at Vandalia Correctional Center. Vandalia Correctional Center is not closing nor was it being considered for closure.
The document that was distributed titled “Consolidation/Conversion Overview” dated February 2022, is an extension of the previously shared May 2021 plan. As we discussed in the May 2021 plan, as an agency we must ensure we are safely and efficiently operating our facilities and effectively managing the population. The proposed consolidation plan at Vandalia Correctional Center would allow the Department to efficiently operate the facility and better serve the population by moving the staff and population to the newer units on the grounds of Vandalia. The plan WOULD NOT have resulted in layoffs, or geographical transfers. All employees at Vandalia would continue working at Vandalia. There were also NO plans to demolish any buildings at Vandalia, instead we were exploring alternative uses for some of the units that would have been consolidated within the facility.
Today the population in the male division is 27,823, and with recent sentencing reforms, it is expected this number will remain low. Transfers into Vandalia have slowed down just as they have at some of our other minimum-security facilities. With the Consolidation/Conversion population over shared on 2/10/2022 Vandalia’s population was at 301. On 6/1/2022, Vandalia’s population was 525, and as of today, the population is 458. We also have low populations at our other minimum level facilities such as Robinson – 622, Vienna – 541, East Moline – 487 and Southwestern – 285.
At this time, we have decided to hold off on the consolidation/conversion at Vandalia. If it is decided in the future to revisit this plan, we will notify AFSCME Council 31 and continue discussions.