Dear Ms. Stulgate,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
We suggest you begin by searching for police and court records where your father resided prior to his incarceration or where the crime took place, if that information is available to you. We also suggest searching old newspapers that may include listings of local crimes committed. Please note that many sites offering newspapers and other publications require a subscription, but your local library should provide access free of charge.
Once you have determined that your father served his sentence in a state prison, please search the Illinois Department of Corrections for various correctional facilities in the state.
There are six Federal Prisons in Illinois: Chicago MCC; Chicago RRM; Greenville FCI; Marion USP; Pekin FCI; and Thomson USP. Federal Prison records on these websites contain information about federal inmates released after 1982. Not all inmates who were in custody prior to 1982 were keyed into the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) inmate management system. Since many older records are held by the National Archives Records Administration (NARA), the BOP is in the midst of transferring pre-1983 inmate records to NARA. Please contact Lindsey George, Records Manager, Bureau of Prisons, 400 First Street, NW - Room 6009, Washington DC 20534 via LEIza@bop.gov for the specific location of the inmate records for that particular prison for 1959-1962 and the records transfer number.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!