Union files suit over safety concerns to halt prison closures
AFSCME seeks injunction preventing inmate transfers in overcrowded system
Arguing that Governor Pat Quinn’s push to close several state prisons is worsening dangerous overcrowding and that inappropriate inmate transfers pose a safety risk to prison workers, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 31 filed suit Friday in Alexander County in far Southern Illinois.
The union is seeking an injunction to halt the threatened closure of prisons at Dwight and Tamms; adult transition centers in Carbondale, Chicago and Decatur; and youth centers in Joliet and Murphysboro.
Governor Quinn is pushing to close the facilities despite opposition from prison employees, a legislative oversight commission and lawmakers who provided adequate funding to keep them open. The closure push comes even as the adult correctional system is overflowing with more than 48,000 inmates in facilities built for just 33,000.
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