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updated: 2/24/2014 4:59 PM

Illinois lawmakers tour Pontiac prison

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  • The maximum-security Pontiac Correctional Center houses 2,000 inmates.

      The maximum-security Pontiac Correctional Center houses 2,000 inmates.
    Associated Press file photo

 
Associated Press

PONTIAC, Ill. -- Illinois lawmakers are getting a glimpse inside one of the state's tougher prisons.

The (Bloomington) Pantagraph reported that nine legislators led by Bloomington Republican Sen. Jason Barickman got a glimpse Monday into the daily routine of the maximum-security prison housing 2,000 inmates.

Corrections Director S.A. "Tony" Godinez and Pontiac Warden Randy Pfister led the group of mostly first-term lawmakers.

The legislators asked about a court mandate to expand mental health services and about how inmates are adjusting after a move from the now-closed Tamms supermax prison.

Pfister says the number of inmates classified as seriously mentally ill has increased dramatically in recent months.

Godinez says 29 of the ex-Tamms inmates are now in the general population of the prison and nine have been released from prison.

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