The measure Rauner signed Tuesday at Logan Correctional Center in Lincoln creates a women's division in the Illinois Department of Corrections with tailored programs and services.
A 2016 study encouraged Corrections' development of what Springfield Republican Rep. Tim Butler called Friday policies based on "gender-informed ... and trauma-informed decisions."
The National Center of Justice Involved Women's study showed that 98 percent of incarcerated Illinois women have suffered physical abuse. Three-quarters have been sexually abused.
Combined with women's differing emotional responses to stress make their prison stays much different than men's.
Corrections Director John Baldwin says the new approach will also include job training which recognizes that most women leaving prisons are sole family providers.