Barickman, Rezin want Dwight center to stay open
Senator Sue Rezin (R-Morris) and Representative Jason Barickman (R-Champaign) hosted a town hall meeting in Dwight on July 16 to discuss the continued impact of Governor Quinn’s call to close Dwight Correctional Center.
Both the Senator and Representative discussed the effects of the closure, how they plan to continue the fight to keep the facility open, and other alternatives to keep the prison operating and the workers in their jobs.
“I want to thank everybody that attended Monday’s meeting and all those who have stood by the good people of Dwight for the past half of year fighting for this facility. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed and we will continue to do everything in our power to keep DCC open and the men and women employed at the prison in their jobs,” said Rep. Barickman.
“A number of legislators who are facing similar closures proposed by Quinn have committed to overriding the Governor’s budget vetoes. We believe the funds allocated in the budget for facilities like Dwight and Tamms should be used for these institutions, and not for the Governor’s new spending initiatives. Public safety is a budget priority, and Quinn is ignoring the potential dangers created by his actions to shutter these correctional facilities,” Barickman said.
Sen. Rezin echoed Rep. Barickman’s comments and said that there is no reason to close these facilities when the General Assembly appropriated money for them to remain open.
“This is an unfortunate situation all-around,” Sen. Rezin said. “We can override the Governor’s budget vetoes, but we cannot force him to spend the money. This seems to be just another budget game where we wastefully spend money instead of spending money on keeping facilities open. Gov. Quinn needs to reexamine what kind of a huge impact this is going to have on the Dwight community. We will continue to advocate for it to remain open until the last possible moment.”
Monday’s town hall drew an estimated crowd of 200. Rezin and Barickman were pleased with the turnout and the continued support for the community of Dwight and the over 350 employees of the prison.