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Death Row Unit - Menard Correctional Center - Special Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
12 pages
Findings and recommendations are reported from an assessment of Illinois' death row facilities and services at the Menard Correctional Center.
On-site monitoring visits at death row were conducted on July 3, 1980, and August 5, 1980, to observe conditions and talk with the inmates and staff. At the time, 27 men were on death row. Until recently, the death row inmates were housed at Stateville Corectional Center, 40 miles southwest of Chicago. Although most of the inmates are from the northern part of the State, the Department of Corrections moved death row to Menard, some 350 miles from Chicago, under the justification that better services could be provided there. The decision to house death row solely at Menard should be rescinded, and the men from northern Illinois should be permitted to return to Stateville or to some other facility within reasonable commuting distance of Chicago. A reasonable solution would be to establish two facilities, one near Chicago and a second in southern Illinois. Unfortunately, death row is likely to be retained at Menard. In this case, major changes in the environment must be made. Change recommendations are offered in the areas of physical setting, the law library, personal property and commissary, exercise and recreation, visitation and telephone, medical care, staffing, and control and discipline.