Recently this facility was known as the Joliet Correctional Center. Other names included Illinois State Penitentiary, Joliet Prison, Joliet Penitentiary, and the Collins Street Prison. It is located on Collins Street in Joliet. In opened in 1858 and closed in 2002.
First 33 prisoners from Alton, Illinois arrived in May 1858. The facility was completed in 1860. The prison was constructed with prison labor under the supervision of Lorenzo Sanger and warden Samuel Casey. The limestone used in the construction was mined locally. Architect was William Boyington (also designed the Chicago Water Tower). The last prisoners were transferred from Alton in 1860.
By the early 1870’s, the prison population had reached 1,239. This was a record for this time period. The prison was very slow to modernize. As late as 1910, there was no running water or toilets in the cells.
From 1896 to 1932, there was a women’s prison across the road. This building was then used as an annex and later as a male reception facility for Norther Illinois.
Prison population was 1,300 in 1990 and 1,156 in 2002.
More recently there was a fire at the facility on May 30, 2017. This was found to be an episode of arson.