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IDOC's Illinois Correctional Industries Program at Menard Correctional Center receives Green Government Award 

Pictured From left are Chief Stationary Engineer Jon Jones, Maintenance Equipment Operator Bill Gross, Capital Programs Manager Steve White, Correctional Industries CEO Tim Gleason, Acting Chief Engineer Bill Weidling, Deputy Director of Projects Jen Aholt, and Menard Correctional Industries Superintendent Chris Grissom.
Pictured From left are Chief Stationary Engineer Jon Jones, Maintenance Equipment Operator Bill Gross, Capital Programs Manager Steve White, Correctional Industries CEO Tim Gleason, Acting Chief Engineer Bill Weidling, Deputy Director of Projects Jen Aholt, and Menard Correctional Industries Superintendent Chris Grissom.

SPRINGFIELD – Dec. 22, 2011 – Illinois Correctional Industries (ICI) at Menard Correctional Center was the recipient of a 2011 GGCC Green Governments Award presented by Governor Pat Quinn in a recognition ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion Dec. 17, 2011.  The Illinois Green Governments Coordinating Council (GGCC) Green Governments Awards recognize outstanding environmental leadership and innovative sustainability accomplishments by Illinois state agencies.  The Green Governments Awards program reflects the successful steps that state agencies are taking to ensure a greener Illinois.

Governor Pat Quinn presented the award to Menard ICI for its waste reduction and recycling efforts.  The award was one of 10 presented to honor agencies for their extraordinary green efforts on behalf of the State of Illinois.  Menard ICI Superintendant Chris Grissom also received special recognition for his extraordinary commitment in sustainability work for the State of Illinois.  During the ceremony, Grissom additionally gave credit to fellow co-worker Bill Gross for his dedicated efforts in the recycling program.

“This recognition is an excellent example of IDOC and ICI’s commitment to ‘green practices’ for the State of Illinois,” said Illinois Department of Corrections Director S. A. Godinez.  “By implementing sustainability practices, we are also helping save taxpayer dollars by reducing operating costs.”

The waste, reduction and recycling award celebrates more than 15 years of recycling efforts at Menard, which experienced an evolution from using a used baler for waste compacting to the installation of a fully operational recycling center.  New infrastructure over the years increased the speed and accuracy of recycling processes while transitioning operations to a single stream process.

The transition progressed through faithful adherence of green principles with recycling ground glass and re-purposed dumpsters used in the expansion of the recycling center.  The success of Menard’s recycling expansion is largely credited to strategic community collaboration.  The Randolph County Board of Commissioners granted financial resources to help fund both the building expansion as well as the purchase of equipment.  The City of Chester dispatched a backhoe and operator for site preparation.

Menard ICI Superintendant Chris Grissom

During Grissom’s tenure as superintendent of ICI at Menard Correctional Center, the program has received five GGCC Awards for categories including green procurement, water conservation and facility management; three Governor’s Sustainability Awards from the University of Illinois Sustainable Technology Center; and a “Beautify Southern Illinois” Award from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale’s Beautify Southern Illinois Committee for efforts in promoting recycling and providing recycling services to local communities.  Menard ICI also has received several proclamations from Randolph County and a host of municipalities in recognition of the program’s efforts in promoting recycling and providing recycling services to local communities.

Grissom has been an advocate of “Green Cleaning” programs and products and helped establish ICI as one of the first correctional industry programs in the nation to offer a full line of third party certified green cleaning products.  Grissom also participated in the establishment of Illinois “Green Cleaning Schools” Act.  He regularly has provided green cleaning training to a variety of groups and has developed training materials for use with ICI’s line of green certified and eco-friendly cleaning products.

Grissom regularly participates in the GGCC quarterly meetings and the annual GGCC symposium as well as the GGCC procurement and recycling subcommittees.  It was during one of these meetings where the idea was launched for ICI to use empty drums that ICI’s green cleaning chemicals are shipped in to make rain barrels.  This concept resulted in more than 1,000 ICI manufactured rain barrels being placed throughout Illinois, including the state fairgrounds, rest areas and Executive Mansion.

ICI’s mission is to provide inmates with the skills and training necessary to be successful upon release from prison.  ICI performs this objective at no cost to the taxpayers of Illinois.  The revenue ICI generates from the sale of its products fully funds its entire operation.

IDOC operates 27 prisons throughout Illinois in addition to work camps, boot camps and adult transition centers.  The agency is committed to operating a safe and secure prison system as well as enhancing prison-based treatment, prevention programs and the successful reentry of inmates into society, which will lead to lowering recidivism