DWIGHT--The village is celebrating a big victory in the fight to keep its women's prison from being closed by the state.
Tuesday, the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability recommended not closing the facility.
"This is almost like a brand new start to it," said Andrew Bufford. "This is just in a different level now."
Andrew Bufford is a corrections officer at Dwight prison.
He says it's a relief to have the support from COGFA members, but by no means does it make the prison immune from closure.
"We're happy with the support we're getting from the commission obviously, so now we hope it translates into support from the governor," said Bufford.
That's because Governor Pat Quinn has the ultimate say on the prison's fate.
He slated it for closure to help close the state's nine billion dollar budget deficit.
Still Bufford and other community members say COGFA's recommendation is good news.
"I'm ecstatic," said Maria Ahmedi. "I'm very relieved it was voted for us to continue to be open."
Ahmedi owns the Old Route 66 Restaurant in Dwight.
She and other customers say the prison is one of the villages' largest employers.
Closing it would devastate the community.
"There were over 300 jobs we were going to lose in turn and there are other businesses dwindling," said Leann Rub-Bruner.
While residents say they're relieved for now, they won't stop fighting to save the prison until the governor makes his final decision.
"If you look around our town the signs are everywhere, everybody's going to meetings so I'm pretty sure we'll keep on till we get the actual vote," added Bruner.
"We've got support from obviously the commission now so we're going to be hopefully using that and working with them to get Governor Quinn on the same page and I think he will be," said Bufford.
Prison employees say they're planning more initiatives and rallies to keep the prison open ahead of Governor Pat Quinn's decision this summer.
Since Dwight is the only maximum women's security prison in the state, prison employees say it creates a strong argument to keep it open.