Throughout the year, the agency is
called upon to help restore stability by providing labor and debris
cleanup in the aftermath of devastating disasters, including floods,
severe storms and tornadoes. In addition, the department reaches out
to provide labor and cleanup for public service projects, including
community events, as well as for state and local parks and highways.
Agency staff and inmate work crews
recently provided flood relief efforts throughout southern Illinois,
according to Greg Firkus, who is assistant warden at Logan
Correctional Center and serves as the Department of Corrections'
lead liaison to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. Work crews
provided assistance by filling tens of thousands of sandbags and
working at flood sites, including Golconda, Metropolis, Shawneetown,
Equality, Junction, New Haven, Mount Carmel and Cave-In-Rock.
"The staff and inmate work crews
have done a tremendous job helping all these communities during this
most stressful time," said Department of Corrections Director Roger
E. Walker Jr. "Everyone involved at our Robinson, Lawrence, Shawnee
and Vienna Correctional Centers, Hardin County Work Camp, and Dixon
Springs Impact Incarceration Program have been ultimate team players
in assisting with flood relief efforts. Whether filling sandbags or
working at flood sites, or both, their efforts are to be commended."
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Walker said the department's staff
and inmate work crews are a valuable asset to the taxpayer as well
as those affected by devastating disasters. Last year, the
department's work crews provided tornado cleanup throughout the
state, including assistance in the communities of Jacksonville,
Pittsfield, Winchester, Utica, Granville, Danville and Lincoln.
"Supporting communities in their
time of need is an important mission of our agency," Walker said.
"When IEMA calls upon our department, the state can be assured that
we will be there."
The goal of supporting communities
through public service projects also provides inmates a structured,
specialized agenda that develops responsibility, self-discipline,
self-respect and the importance of a good work ethic.
"The driving force rests on the
belief that the willingness to get involved in community service
enhances the ability of the offender to reintegrate into society and
live as a responsible, law-abiding and productive citizen," Walker
For more information about the
Illinois Department of Corrections, visit
Department of Corrections news release]