Fowler’s legislation allows Hardin County to purchase closed work camp

Ongoing efforts to reopen the Hardin County Work Camp saw progress this week under recently signed legislation sponsored by State Senator Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg).

“Sponsoring this legislation was about paving the way for future economic opportunity for Hardin and other surrounding counties,” said Senator Fowler. “I’m excited that we ended the 100th General Assembly by pushing for development and job creation in Southern Illinois.”

Under House Bill 3274, the Illinois Department of Corrections now has the authority to sell the Hardin County Work Camp property to Hardin County for $1. Once purchased, the property can be used for public purposes, including the creation of a detention center.

“Our administration is always working to set Illinois communities up for future success,” said Gov. Bruce Rauner. “This bill allows Hardin County to do just that. We need to continue to work together, create jobs, and grow Illinois’ economy for all the people of our great state.”

Last year, the Hardin County Sheriff’s Department announced their intentions to reopen the Work Camp, utilizing the structure to house upwards of 100 inmates and creating a number of new jobs within the facility.

“Repurposing the former Illinois Department of Corrections Work Camp in to a new detention center will create much needed employment and revenue for our community,” said Hardin County Sheriff Jerry Fricker. “I appreciate the assistance and support that has been shown for this project. The new detention center will greatly benefit Hardin County and we are excited for these opportunities.” 

“I want to applaud the hard work and dedication of the Hardin County Sheriff’s Department throughout the pursuit of this property purchase. They have remained committed to this project and because of their efforts, Hardin County now has a path forward to reopening the work camp,” said Senator Fowler. “I also want thank Representative Phelps-Finnie for recognizing the potential within this project and carrying this measure in the House.”

Senator Fowler was the chief sponsor for House Bill 3274 in the Senate.

Dale Fowler

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