Oregon Residents Concerned About Possibly Adding Convicted Criminals

By: Brad Broders
By: Brad Broders

Riverside Family Restaurant's Lesa Johnson can't even fathom convicted criminals roaming around her business, and her town.

"Mostly we're worried about the small children and the kids that live here, and we don't think it's something they need to be involved with," Johnson said.

But 20 federal convicts serving their time in the heart of Oregon could be a reality. A Chicago firm is interested in buying this inn, and making it a community corrections center.

"It's an unusual choice, because we are so small and we are a tourist destination. We don't see the two as mixing," Marcia Heuer said.

Oregon leaders hope the Bureau of Prisons finds another alternative to Ogle County's biggest city. The say the vast majority of residents want nothing to do with a halfway house smack dab in their laid back, low crime community.

"The police have enough to worry about with teens, small businesses and everything that's going on. They don't need the extra load," Johnson said.

A community loudly saying no to a criminal rehabilitation center they think will only add big time problems to their small city.

23 News caught up with the co-owner of the patchwork inn. He said no one from the bureau of prisons has approached him about buying the building. He says he has no opinion, because right now, he has no information.


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