Officials Looking To Turn Joliet Prison Into Tourist Attraction
(CBS) – The next people inside the Joliet Prison may have to pay for the privilege, reports WBBM’s John Cody.
Joliet officials are keenly aware of the part their city’s now closed prison played in the cinema classic, “The Blues Brothers.”
“The movie opens up with Joliet Jake getting out of the Collins Street Prison and we thought that would be a part of it where we could have people pose at that gate,” said Joliet City Manager Jim Hock.
Hock says visitors would also get a chance to see solitary and it’s chiseled motto: “It’s never too late to repent.”
According to Hock, the roof leaks and lead is peeling from walls of the Joliet prison, so tourists would have to stay with their tour guides, many of whom would be former prison guards.
Hock says the Joliet Historical Society has received several requests for prison tours which he pictured as an untapped market the city would like to accommodate
Since construction by convict labor in 1858, Joliet housed prominent prisons including thrill killers Leopold and Loeb as well as several members of the Black P Stone rangers street gang.
Hock says the Department of Corrections would need to be assured they’d be compensated for additional liability costs and talks are underway at this time.