Governor Rauner signs HB-1479 creating the Women’s Division at the Logan Correctional Facility in Lincoln.

Rep Tim Butler joins Gov Rauner at the signing of HB-1479

Lincoln:  Joined by state Rep Tim Butler (R), Gov Rauner on Tuesday signed a bill into law that establishes different standards, policies and programs, designed to help women who are incarcerated to better deal with their imprisonment, and to help them transition back into society.

One of the primary goals of the new law is to help women who were in prison, avoid becoming repeat offenders

Gov Rauner, “In Illinois as in many states, almost a third of women who are released, come back into our prison system within three years.”

The Governor told those gathered at the facility in Lincoln, that the vast majority of women who are in prison have suffered from some form of abuse in their life — sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse.   And so the goal of the new system, would be to help women transition past those emotional issues

“Corrections shoudn’t be just about punishment. It should be about helping the person recover and learn and grow.”  Rauner said after signing the bill into law.   He noted the new facility would be more welcoming and emotionally supportive, than the typical prison that is stark and merely functional.

In February, the facility is expected to open a mental health unit to help treat the women who have suffered from previous abuse.

The Governor also took questions on other topics, and told reporters his veto of the education reform trailer bill, was based on ommissions that resulted in a number of schools that should be able to participate in the new school scholarship fund, from being included in the program.  The Governor said he spoke with the ISBE about the errors and that the lawmakers should be able to quickly address the issue when they return in February.