Marty Meredith’s plan would mean housing up to 300 prisoners from the federal prison system, Cook County, and elsewhere, and hiring around 40 people with prior correctional experience.
The maximum-security women’s facility closed in March as part of a series of budget cuts made by Governor Pat Quinn. Meredith says the move will require a roughly 1-million dollar investment from the county, but could generate up to 1-point-5 million. He’s meeting with state officials next week, and expects to bring his plan before the Livingston County Board by July.
“But before I do that, I want to take it to the people – and let the people of Livinsgton County – let them make the decision. I want to put something in the newspaper and even the Associated Press – let people know that - please, voice your opinions, because we want to do what’s best for Livingston County, and your voice does have a say here.”
Meredith says county inmates staying in the prison could anyone awaiting trial, and those sentenced for less than a year from neighboring counties.
Department of Corrections spokesman Tom Shaer says the agency is always looking for ways to preserve public safety, including the re-use of closed prison facilities.