Fowler supports efforts to reopen Hardin County Work Camp

State Senator Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg) is joining local officials, including the Hardin County Sheriff’s Department, in efforts to reopen the Hardin County Work Camp.

“When the Hardin County Work Camp was closed back in 2016, the region took an economic hit,” said Sen. Fowler. “This facility was an important part of Hardin’s local economy, providing critical jobs in the area and bringing revenue to the community.” 

On August 31, the Hardin County Sheriff’s Department announced efforts to reopen the Work Camp as a detention center, providing room for approximately 100 inmates and employing upwards of 40 workers.

“The push to reopen this facility is a great opportunity for Southern Illinois, creating jobs and providing a critical service to Hardin and surrounding counties,” said Fowler. “Our next step will be exploring the process of transferring the property ownership of the Work Camp to Hardin County and utilizing this facility to bring real economic opportunities to Southern Illinois.”

Senator Fowler is currently working with Southeastern Illinois College to create a business proposal on the project. The Hardin County Sheriff’s Department is working toward obtaining funding for the project at both the state and federal levels.

“I want to applaud Sheriff Fricker and his staff for their hard work and dedication to this critical project for Southern Illinois,” said Senator Fowler. “They have been committed to finding a path forward to reopen the Work Camp, and their efforts have not gone unnoticed.”

The Hardin County Work Camp was closed in January of 2016 as a result of state budget cuts.

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