Police disperse crowd from Old Joliet Prison parking lot

Public Works vehicles used to block access Saturday

Joliet police said they dispersed up to 50 vehicles from the parking lot at the Old Joliet Prison on Friday night after getting a report of loud music and squealing tires. Sept. 17, 2023.

Joliet police late Friday night broke up what they said may have been a late-night celebration of Mexican Independence Day in the parking lot of the Old Joliet Prison.

About 40 to 50 vehicles were in the lot when police arrived, police spokesman Sgt. Dwayne English said in an email.

“Our officers responded to the prison around 11 p.m. on Friday for a report of loud music and vehicles squealing their tires in the parking lot,” English said. “The individuals left peacefully and there was no further enforcement action needed at this location.”

No arrests were made, English said.

Police prepared for a possible return of celebrants to the prison parking lot on Saturday, but it did not occur.

A sign outside the former women's prison section of the Old Joliet Prison wants against trespassing. Sept. 17, 2023.

English said police were “encouraging the safe celebration” of the Mexican Independence Day holiday.

Public Works Department vehicles were parked broadside at two parking lot entrances to block access on Saturday, and a police vehicle was at the site.

The Joliet Police Department on Saturday also posted a public notice on its Facebook page that it was “aware of a planned unlawful gathering at the Old Joliet Prison.”

According to the notice, the prison and its parking lots were closed Saturday and that attempts to park on the property “will result in vehicles being ticketed and/or towed at the owner’s expense. As a reminder, the prison and associated parking lots are private property; entering the property without permission is considered trespassing.”

The Old Joliet Prison main parking lot is generally open to accommodate travelers who want to stop and take photographs at the site. The lot was accessible again Sunday.