Illinois' 'drug prison' is a success.

Author:St. Gerard, Vanessa
Position:State News - Sheridan Correctional Center - Brief Article

Sheridan Correctional Center, located about 70 miles southwest of downtown Chicago, closed in 2002 and reopened in January 2004 as a prison that focuses exclusively on drug treatment, and more than one year later, preliminary statistics show that the strategy is working, reported the Chicago Sun-Times. There are about a dozen "drug prisons" in the country, but Illinois authorities think Sheridan is the largest.

A report by Dave Olson, head of the criminal justice department at Loyola University, compared the first 150 inmates paroled from the Sheridan program with a group of other parolees with similar histories. About 12 percent of the Sheridan parolees were rearrested compared with 27 percent from the other group. "What makes these initial findings even more impressive is the fact that the participants in the program have very extensive substance abuse and criminal histories," Olson said.

There are 1,100 beds at the prison and, federally funded construction of a new 200-bed unit...

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