HARRISBURG, Ill. (KFVS) - According to Illinois State Senator Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg) legislation seeking to identify potential uses of the currently-unoccupied Tamms Correctional Center was signed into law on Friday, Aug. 23.
Senator Fowler said the Tamms Minimum Security Unit will see renewed purpose under his legislation. Reps. Terri Bryant and Patrick Windhorst sponsored the bill in the House.
“As of today, Tamms is sitting underutilized and vacant, adding to the continuous drain on resources and overlooking the potential within the facility complex,” said Sen. Fowler. “This legislation authorizes a task force to explore avenues for repurposing the Center, taking the first steps toward reopening Tamms and bringing future opportunity for economic growth to the region.”
House Bill 210 passed the Senate unanimously.
Fowler said a task force will be created to study possible uses of minimum security unit as a vocational training center for the Illinois Department of Corrections (DOC). The Task Force is required to submit its findings to the Governor and the General Assembly on or before December 31, 2020.
Twice a year, the Tamms Minimum Security Unit Task Force will meet consisting of eleven-members, including four legislators, the Director of the Department of Corrections or a designee, one member appointed by the Lt. Governor, one member representing DOC employees, one member representing Shawnee Community College, one member representing SIU, the mayor of Tamms and one member representing Alexander County.
Tamms Correctional Center is made up of about 220 acres with 21 buildings, has remained closed since 2013.