The head of Illinois’ prison system will be stepping down next month after nearly four years on the job.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday announced that Illinois Department of Corrections Director Rob Jeffreys will be leaving his post effective April 1.
“I’m grateful to Director Jeffreys for his years of service, ensuring the dignity and safety of the incarcerated people of Illinois,” Pritzker said in a statement. “His work in reforming and redesigning services has given individuals in custody opportunities for advancement and improvement while also ensuring the highest level of security and care for the IDOC staff as they carry out their critical responsibilities.”
In his statement, Pritzker lauded Jeffreys’ work in creating a new Office of Reentry to assist people re-integrate into society after serving a prison term, as well as a redesign of vocational and educational services to include training for living-wage level jobs post-release.
“Throughout my tenure, the Department and employees at all levels embraced reform as an opportunity and worked tirelessly to positively change the lives of those incarcerated while maintaining the safety and security of our facilities,” Jeffreys said in a statement. “It has been a privilege to collaborate with legislators, agencies, community partners, and advocacy groups, who all have the shared goal of the well-being of the Department, employees, and individuals in custody.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Jeffreys was named in a lawsuit along with Prtizker, which alleged they weren’t doing enough to protect elderly and medically vulnerable inmates from the virus inside state prison facilities. More than 1,000 inmates who fell under those categories were eventually released as part of a settlement agreement.
IDOC Chief of Staff Latoya J. Hughes will serve as acting director until a permanent replacement is named.