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Local News

Groundbreaking slated for Joliet prison hospital

A groundbreaking ceremony will be held Monday for the 200-bed hospital to treat mentally ill prison inmates at the Joliet Treatment Center.

The state is building the $150 million Inpatient Treatment Center at the McDonough Street facility, which also houses and treats inmates diagnosed with mental illness.

The Joliet Treatment Center was opened in late 2017 on the site of the former Illinois Youth Center-Joliet. Inmates with mental illness are treated and housed in facilities formerly used for the juvenile prison.

The groundbreaking ceremony will be hosted by the Illinois Department of Corrections and the Illinois Capital Development Board.

The Department of Corrections settled a 2016 lawsuit requiring the state to provide adequate services to about 12,000 inmates who suffer from mental illness. The lawsuit was filed in 2007 after severe funding cuts.

The Joliet hospital will be 180,000 square feet and serve both men and women. It will employ more than 400 people, including physicians, nurse practitioners, psychologists and correctional treatment officers.

The state in August announced plans to build the hospital. Construction is expected to be completed in mid-2021.

State officials said they planned to open the premier mental health facility in the nation for prison inmates in Joliet. The project also includes a new administration center and physical plant for the Joliet Treatment Center.

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