Decatur Correctional Center
is the state's newest female-only prison. The medium-security prison opened in 2000 and averages about 530 inmates who have committed a variety of crimes from drug possession to reckless homicide.
Lincoln Correctional Center
also was converted to serve mothers. The facility opened in 1984 to house male inmates but became a medium-security prison for females in 2000. It averages about 977 inmates.
Dwight Correctional Center
Illinois' third and oldest all-female prison, Opened in 1930 as a maximum-security prison, it now averages more than 1,000 inmates.
The prison receives female offenders from county jails and houses inmates who are in protective custody, on Death Row or in need of mental health services. It also houses a medical center for terminally ill and pregnant inmates.
"It was more a question of priorities," says Deanne Benos, assistant director of the Illinois Department of Corrections. "Do we want to spend tens of millions of dollars more a year to warehouse more men and women in prison, or do we want to invest that money on solutions to prevent crime in the first place and to make our communities safer?" http://illinoisissues.uis.edu/features/2007jan/prison.html