PONTIAC Correctional Center

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These are photos of Pontiac Correctional Center (nicknamed "Thunderdome"):


Pontiac Correctional Center 

Randy Pfister, Acting Warden 

Facility Data

Pontiac Correctional Center
 Opened: June 1871
 *Operational Capacity: 2,152
 Maximum Security Adult Male
 *Population Pontiac Correctional Center: 1,256
 *Population Pontiac Medium Security Unit: 474
 *Total Current Population: 1,730
 Average Age: 37
 FY2010 Average Annual Cost Per Inmate: $31,712.00
*As of 5/31/2012. Reflects bed space capacity analysis as outlined in the July 1, 2012 Quarterly Report to the Legislature.
Pontiac Correctional Center is the parent institution for Pontiac Medium Security Unit

Visiting Hours


IDOC Visitation Rules and Information
Visitors to any correctional facility will be required to produce photo identification and verification of date of birth. Please be sure to bring 2 forms of identification with you; these would include a current photo ID such as a driver’s license, a state ID card, government ID card, military ID/driver’s license, or acceptable documentation of non-U.S. citizenship including a current Passport, or Visa, documentation must contain the visitor’s date of birth. Expired forms of identification will not be accepted. Visitors will also be required to provide vehicle information and other pertinent data, such as government identification, official credentials, attorney registration, and or law student certification.
The visiting days for offenders in Segregation and Protective Custody/Segregation Release alternate monthly between even days and odd days. Therefore, individuals planning to visit the facility should call the facility prior to traveling to the Pontiac to ensure that the date on which they intend to visit is an authorized visiting day for the offender. Monthly visiting schedules are also available at the gatehouse.

Administrative Detention Re-entry Management Program (ADRMP) offender visitors may visit on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturdays from 8:00am to 2:00pm, with a two (2) hour duration per visit.  Visits for these offenders must first be reviewed and approved by the facility’s Intelligence Unit with the request being received at the facility five (5) days prior to the requested visit date.

Attorney request for a private interview room must be submitted and approved in advance by the Record Office.
8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Call ahead to ensure authorized visiting day. Visitors must arrive by 1:30 p.m. to be processed.

Facility Address

Physical Address:
 700 West Lincoln Street
 Pontiac, IL 61764
Business Mail:
P.O. Box 99
 Pontiac, IL 61764

Inmate Mail:
Inmate Name & IDOC#
 P.O. Box 99
 Pontiac, IL 61764

Phone: (815) 842-2816
 Fax: (815) 842-3420

Facility Information

The mission of the Pontiac Correctional Center is to protect the general public through incarceration, supervision, programs and services designated to return offenders to the community with the skills to be useful and productive citizens.
The facility consists of a total of 63 buildings, which comprise of more than 744,000 square feet. The facility sits on a 37-acre site, with 32 acres being enclosed by fencing. Pontiac Correctional Center houses the following offenders: segregation, protective custody, mental health, administrative detention reintegration management and medium security.
Inmate Programs
•ABE (Adult Basic Education)
•GED (General Education Development)

•Reentry Summit
•Lifestyle Redirection
•Substance Abuse
•Leisure Time Activity
•Narcotics Anonymous
•Anger Management (Segregation Offenders)
•Trained Reformed and Capable (TRAC I)
•Library Services
•Parole School
•Inside Out Dads
•Mental Health Development


People visiting Pontiac will need 50cents for their lockers. You also need to check on what dates you can visit depending on what unit he is in. Like one month you can visit on even dates 5 times and next month it is on odd dates! There are no food facilities within the prison.Only in the waiting area.However there are water fountains around. Better than nothing I suppose!
If you travel more than 300 miles you may request extended time visits from the present warden.
The prison address is 700 West Lincoln Street.  PO Box 99, Pontiac, Illinois 61764.              Tel : 815-842-2816.

Motels are :-  Fiesta Tel: 815-844-7103  This is cheap cheerful. Very very basic, but generally clean and within walking distance of the prison.

Super 8 Motel Tel: 815-844-6888 Little more than Fiesta. Would need a car to get to the prison. No sidewalks except after you get way past the Fiesta.

Comfort Inn.Tel: 815-842-2777. About the same as Super 8

Holiday Inn Tel; 815-844-444.  Quite expensive.

There are quite a few food places that deliver to these motels, good taxi service also. Some good restaurants,plus all the usual, like Kentucky, Pizza etc. Stores include KMart, Walmart and there is a small selection of shops in town.Plus the postoffice and all the usual services, including a food market.

It is 2 hours from O'Hare airport and you can either hire a car, use the bus, train or hire a taxi service.
Please ask if you need any help.


Female visitors are limited to the wearing of: one ring, one bracelet, one watch and one pair of earrings.  No more.  Gatehouse staff has always been pleasant and it's never taken longer than 10 minutes to get into visiting, on weekdays.  I don't know about weekends, it may be more crowded.
The prison is located on the edge of town in a tree-lined residential neighborhood.   It's a formidable looking prison, one of Illinois' oldest....and loudest...hence it's nickname THUNDERDOME.  I knew someone who served two years in Pontiac and he said the nickname came from that movie...hmmm...can't remember the name...

 Can anyone tell me what the visiting room looks like at Pontiac? Are they tables like Stateville and Menards, the steel kind that are mounted to the floor? And can anyone tell me anything on how the seg visits work also?


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