The Menard Prison Center Most Famous Criminal Inmates

Sep 4


Jeff Donaven

Jeff Donaven

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The Menard prison center had an incredible history just like many other prisons, jails and docs in USA.


What is Menard Correctional Center?

The Menard prison center is one of the 50 department of corrections in Illinois which is managed by the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) and also one of the 6 maximum security prison in that state. The Menard prison center opened in March 1878 which makes it the second oldest prison in Illinois. Before 1970,The Menard prison center most notorious criminal inmates Articles The Menard prison center was better known as the Southern Illinois Penitentiary and its located in the town of Chester in Randolph County. 

Why menard correctional center famous inmates?

Here are some of the most televised and had the biggest impact on the frontline:

Hubert Geralds received a life sentence for the death of 6 prostitutes from the south side of Chicago.

Kenneth Allen was sentenced to death for killing William Bosak and Roger van Schaik; 2 police officers from Chicago.

Michael Blucker was an ex inmate who served a term of imprisonment for burglary. He made the headlines when he sued the Illinois Department of Corrections for contracting HIV while incarcerated within the Menard prison center. He stated that some prison staff members and gang members made an alliance and raped him. Juries later founded that the staff were not liable but the case shed light on other problems such as sexual assault and gang activities inside the Menard prison center.

David Hendricks is the reason why miracles do happen. He received a stiff sentence of 4 consecutive life terms in prison for the 1983 slaughter of his wife and children. But in 1991,The Menard Prison Center Most Famous Criminal Inmates Articles after new evidences emerged and an in-depth look at the case, he was pronounced innocent and freed from all charges.

Richard Honeck was serving a life sentence for murder. After 64 years of incarceration within the Menard prison center, he got somewhat lucky and received parole. This case was reported to be one of the longest sentence ever served which ended in the prisoner's freedom.

During the early 1980's Robin Gecht, raped and mutilated an 18 year old prostitute from the Chicago area. He later was sentenced to 120 years of incarceration within the Menard prison center.

Chester Weger was found guilty of killing 3 women at the Starved Rock State Park in Utica, Illinois. He was later sentenced to life.

In 1993, James Degorski killed 7 peoples inside the Brown's Chicken Massacre in Palatine Illinois (168 W. Northwest Highway in Palatine). He was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole within the Menard prison center.

Homer Van Meter was incarcerated for stealing a car on January 11 1924 and was paroled in December of that same year. Although his time served inside the Menard prison center was short, the events that took place from the time he was released in 1924 till the moment he opened fire on 4 officers; resulting in the officers returning fire and killing him instantly on August 23 1934 (at the age of 27), made him a perfect candidate for this list. Other events that put his name in the history books within the Menard prison center prior to his death are the 30000$ bank robberies, beating a correctional officer unconscious, prison escapes, surgery attempts and his association with John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, Tommy Carroll, Eddie Green and many others.

Although many inmates committed their most violent crimes before their incarcerations, that doesn't mean they will stop once confined. In May 1973, 38 inmates took control of the commissary within the Menard prison center and held the guard hostage for 16 consecutive hours. A year later in May 1974, 60 prisoners held 4 guards hostage and demanded congregational rights in the prison yard and many changes in the administrative procedures. These incidents are the direct results of a significant increase in the convict's population, not only within the Menard prison center but also all over the USA.

History of Menard Correctional Center

Menard Correctional Center, located in Chester, Illinois, is one of the oldest and most historically significant prisons in the state. Its history dates back to the 19th century, and it has played a pivotal role in the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC). Here is an overview of the history of Menard Correctional Center:

Early History: Menard Correctional Center was established in 1878 as the Southern Illinois Penitentiary. It was built to alleviate overcrowding at other Illinois prisons, such as Joliet Prison. The facility was constructed using a Gothic architectural style and featured limestone walls, which gave it a distinctive appearance.

Name Change: In 1970, the facility was renamed Menard Correctional Center in honor of Pierre Menard, the first lieutenant governor of Illinois. Pierre Menard was a prominent figure in early Illinois history.

Notable Inmates: Over the years, Menard has housed several notable inmates, including Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, who were involved in the infamous 1924 "Leopold and Loeb" murder case. In more recent times, it has held notorious criminals like serial killer John Wayne Gacy.

Riots and Incidents: Like many long-standing prisons, Menard has experienced its share of riots and incidents over the years. One of the most significant events was the Menard Correctional Center riot of 1978, which lasted for several days and resulted in damage to the facility.

Modern Facility: Over time, Menard Correctional Center has undergone renovations and updates to modernize its facilities and improve security. It has a maximum-security designation and houses some of the state's most dangerous offenders.

Legal Challenges: Like many correctional facilities, Menard has faced legal challenges related to inmate conditions, overcrowding, and allegations of mistreatment. These issues have led to ongoing efforts to reform the Illinois prison system.

Historical Significance: Menard Correctional Center's long history and architectural significance have made it a subject of interest for historians, researchers, and the general public. Its Gothic-style architecture and the stories of its inmates have contributed to its historical value.

While Menard Correctional Center has evolved and faced challenges throughout its history, it remains an essential part of Illinois' correctional system. Its historical significance and continued operation make it a notable institution within the state's penal system.

Has anyone escaped Menard prison?

In September 2021, there have been instances of inmates attempting to escape from Menard Correctional Center, but successful escapes are relatively rare due to the prison's high-security measures. The facility is a maximum-security prison, and the Illinois Department of Corrections takes security seriously to prevent escapes.

General visiting guidelines

Visiting guidelines for correctional facilities, including Menard Correctional Center in Illinois, can vary depending on the specific policies and regulations of the prison. These guidelines are subject to change, so it's crucial to check with the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) or the specific facility for the most up-to-date information before planning a visit. However, I can provide you with some general visiting guidelines that are often common in many prisons:

Visitor Eligibility: Not all individuals are eligible to visit inmates. Typically, visitors must be on the inmate's approved visitation list, and they may need to meet specific eligibility criteria. This often involves passing a background check.

Scheduling Visits: Visitors usually need to schedule their visits in advance. Each facility may have its own process for scheduling, which may involve contacting the prison or using an online booking system.

Identification: Visitors are required to bring valid photo identification, such as a driver's license, passport, or state ID card. Some facilities may have specific ID requirements.

Dress Code: Prisons often have a dress code that visitors must adhere to. This typically means wearing modest and appropriate clothing. Avoid wearing clothing that resembles inmate attire, such as uniforms.

Security Screening: Visitors will likely undergo a security screening, which may include metal detectors, bag searches, and pat-downs. Be prepared to comply with these security measures.

Prohibited Items: Visitors are usually prohibited from bringing certain items into the facility. This typically includes items like cell phones, cameras, drugs, weapons, and outside food or drinks.

Behavior and Conduct: Visitors are expected to behave appropriately during their visit. Disruptive or inappropriate behavior can result in the termination of the visit and potential legal consequences.

Physical Contact: In many prisons, physical contact between visitors and inmates is limited and closely monitored. This often means no hugging or kissing.

Visiting Hours: Prisons have specific visiting hours, and visitors must arrive within those designated times. Late arrivals may not be allowed to visit.

Duration of Visit: There is usually a limit on the length of visits, which can vary by facility.

Children and Minors: If you plan to visit with children or minors, be aware of the facility's policies regarding minors visiting inmates. They may have additional requirements.

Visitor Code of Conduct: Visitors are expected to follow the facility's code of conduct, which may include rules about respectful behavior, language, and interactions with staff and inmates.

It's important to remember that these are general guidelines, and Menard Correctional Center may have specific rules and procedures that visitors must follow.

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