The Treatment and Detention Facility in Rushville houses 547 violent sexual offenders who have served their prison sentences but who the state considers too dangerous to be in society. The state expects to move more such offenders from prisons to the facility in the coming years, so planning is underway to expand it.
The Capital Development Board has released $30,659,600 to build two new wings at Rushville. Each wing will house around 98 residents, bringing the facility’s capacity to 825.
The Department of Human Services, which operates the facility, said construction could begin next year. There is no estimated completion date.
DHS said around 350 people work at the Rushville facility. It does not know how much extra staff will be needed once the addition is completed.
The facility opened in 2006. This is its second expansion; the other was done in 2013.
Tri States Public Radio talked to Patricia Walton about such facilities. Walton is a former judge who now teaches in the School of Law Enforcement and Justice Administration at Western Illinois University.
Walton said three factors determine whether courts rule someone to be sexually violent and eligible for placement in a civil commitment program such as what’s offered at Rushville.
“They have to have committed a sexually violent offense. They have to have a mental disorder. And that mental disorder is such that they have a propensity to commit further sexual offenses if they were to be released,” Walton said.
“If they fit that criterion, then the attorney general’s office will file a petition to have them declared a sexually violent person. If they are shown to be one, then they would be placed in the Rushville facility for treatment.”
Walton said the treatment could involve therapy and/or medication, but it is rare for anyone to be released from Rushville. She said most of the detainees remain a risk to commit more violent sexual crimes.
Walton said Illinois’ civil commitment law was enacted in 1998 (Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act [725 ILCS 207/1 et seq.]) and every state has a comparable law and program.
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