Inmate population dwindling at work camp planned for closure

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The number of inmates at a southern Illinois work camp that Gov. Bruce Rauner said he planned to close has dropped considerably. According to the Illinois Department of Corrections, the Hardin County work camp had 85 inmates as of Monday, down from more than 260 in January. Rauner announced plans to close the work camp in June because of state budget problems. The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers reports the population drawdown is due to new inmates not being assigned to the camp. Democratic state Sen. Gary Forby said closing the camp would take “jobs out of southern Illinois.” Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly said camp employees would be allowed to transfer to Shawnee or Vienna correctional centers. Corrections spokeswoman Nicole Wilson said inmate populations are also down at other work camps.