13-17yrs, 18 & over, 8-12yrs, civic duty, commentary

DuPage County Department of Corrections


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photo credit: www.dupageco.org/
photo credit: http://www.dupageco.org/

I live in the DuPage County, thus is why I chose this correctional facility as the web page that I will research. The web page explains many things that the DuPage County Dept. of Correction has to offer in regards to corrections, such as history, programs and services. Although, there were many other points focused on the website, these are the topics that I will be emphasizing on.

The first part of the DuPage County Dept. of Corrections discussed was the history of the correctional facility. In 1868, land was donated by Wheaton Resident Warren Wheaton, which then was the creation of a $20,000 two-story brick courthouse and jail. When the first courthouse soon closed down in 1896, a new jail and sheriff’s office came to pass. The second jail house created was intended to only house 8 inmates but soon expanded to holding a quantity of 48. This jail became inadequate once inmates found ways to dig underneath the prison in order to escape, so in the late 1940’s they began to plan the structure of a new jail. In 1959, they structured a $960,000 correctional facility that was able hold 86 inmates. Later on, in the mid 1970’s, due to the rapid growth of the county as a whole, they soon had to expand and reconstruct the correctional facility. In April of 1981, the County Board accepted a $14,059,000 bid to construct a new facility on County Farm Road in Wheaton. Once the jail was constructed it held 310 beds which later on through the years became in adequate due to the rise of the population again, soon the added additional bed making the total capacity of the correctional facility of 825 beds.

In addition to the history of the DuPage County Correctional facility, the website emphasizes the many services the jail provides for the inmates within the correctional facility. One of the services the inmates are provided is Medical service. Medical, dental and mental health services are provided for the inmates at the jail. The inmates are required to fill out a health request form for all inmates initiated medical requests. Although inmates may be needed to be charged a medical fee, they cannot be denied medical and dental due to insufficient funds. There also small services provided for the inmates, such as recreational, televisions and telephones. Inmates are provided recreational gyms according to the scheduled times, however, this is not always the case because some inmates are not allowed to have this privilege. With the exception of some disciplinary housing units, televisions are provided in each housing unit. In regards to telephone usages, inmates may not receive incoming telephone calls, and messages will not be taken for them. All telephone calls made by the inmates have to be collect calls, or by use of a telephone cards that has been purchased from the commissary. At the DuPage County Dept. of Corrections they also provide public transportation, public transit is available to and from the county jail; it also explains that more information is provided at the Visitation Lobby.

In addition to the history and services provided on the DuPage County Dept. of Corrections, the website also provides programs for the inmates while within the correctional facility. The website explains that inmates are encouraged to participate in programs, in the helps of reducing the recidivism rate. An non-profit agency created in 1986 named Justice, Understanding, Serving, Teaching of DuPage provide the social programs for the inmates. All programs are funded by the inmates with no cost to taxpayers. Educational programs are also provided for the inmates at this correctional facility, a G.E.D. program allows inmate to get their high school diploma and improves their chances to obtain a job. The College of DuPage also offers various college level courses to eligible inmates. The website also emphasizes substance abuse programs that the inmates are encouraged to take part of. It explains approximately 80 percent of the people incarcerated are involved with drugs or alcohol. In an effort to eliminate drug related problems drug counseling and substance abuse classes, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, are available. Spiritual needs also need to be provided when in a correctional facility, thus the DuPage County Dept. of Corrections provide a Chaplaincy program. Inmates may attend worship services and bible study and can meet with the chaplain on an individual basis.

Although, this correctional facility is fairly new to the world as well as the DuPage area, it provides a well-established reason for being here, which is to take control of the criminals in our society. The website provides the history, services and programs provided for the inmates in hope that they will not return there again.

Curtis Evans is a 21 year old who was incarcerated in Du page County. He plans to be on the other side of justice by pursuing  a criminal law degree. This is the first of a few blogs have chose to do as community service with Future Executives, Inc.

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