Pontiac, Illinois Prison History: Local and Online

Postcard of Illinois State Reformatory

We’re pleased to announce the availability of a new online resource on prison history. A bibliography, developed by our 2017 summer intern Sara Millender, catalogues and describes the collection of the Pontiac, Illinois Public Library about the historic Pontiac Correctional Center. The bibliography includes old newspaper clippings; photos; Dept. of Corrections brochures; cemetery records, historic newspapers; books; maps; and more. Currently a maximum-security state prison for men, Pontiac Correctional Center’s rich history in Central Illinois begins in 1871 when it opened as a boys’ reformatory.

We’re grateful to the staff at the Pontiac Library for contributing to the development of this important local history resource for scholars, public historians, teachers, librarians, journalists, local history detectives, and others interested in researching the history of Pontiac Correctional Center.

For more information and to view or download a copy of “History of Pontiac Correctional Center: A Bibliography of Sources Available At The Pontiac Public Library”, click this link:


Pontiac Correctional Facility historical documents