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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Associated Press has learned the Illinois women's prison in Dwight will close by March 31 after a complicated move of hundreds of inmates, including the temporary placement of 500 prisoners in gymnasiums.

Gov. Pat Quinn ordered Dwight penitentiary closed to save money. But state officials have not revealed how and when the women's facility would be shuttered.

A draft Department of Corrections memo obtained yesterday by the AP indicates the closure process began Feb. 28, with the transfer of male inmates at Logan Correctional Center in Lincoln to prisons in Canton, Centralia, Danville, Hillsboro, and Vienna.

Those medium-security inmates would move into cells vacated by minimum-security inmates who will move into temporary housing in gymnasiums.

The women from Dwight will then move into the vacated cells at Logan.
Published in Local News
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A prison watchdog says the need for inmate space in Illinois is "trumping security" as officials announced they plan to set up temporary bed space in a half-dozen mostly medium-security prisons.

The change was announced yesterday in a letter from the Department of Corrections to the main employee union.

John Maki of the prison observer John Howard Association says the six prisons targeted - in Centralia, Danville, Hillsboro, Canton, Vienna and Vandalia - are among the state's most crowded.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees says the planned closure of the Dwight prison is forcing the move.

Corrections spokeswoman Stacey Solano says prison gymnasiums will be used temporarily for minimum-security inmates. She would not comment specifically on the reason for the move.
Published in Local News
Hundreds of millions of dollars is on the way for Illinois road projects and child abuse investigators.

Governor Pat Quinn signed a supplemental appropriation bill Thursday evening that's meant to shore up parts of state government that are running short of money half-way through the budget year.

It includes $675 million in unanticipated federal and state money available for road projects this spring. It also shifts $25 million saved from Quinn's closure of correctional facilities to the Department of Children and Family Services.

Republicans have complained the bill was rushed.
Published in Local News
Wednesday, 06 February 2013 01:24

Inmates attack 3 Illinois prison staffers

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - Two guards and a chaplain have been released from a hospital after being hurt in an Illinois prison attack that union officials say involved up to 15 inmates.

Tuesday's assaults were the latest in a series of violent incidents over the last month at Menard Correctional Center and other Illinois state prisons. Last Thursday, a Menard inmate died in what one official called suspicious circumstances.

Union officials say the violence is a result of Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's decision to close several prisons around the state to save money.

Tuesday's assaults happened as about 200 union members marched outside the prison in the southern Illinois town of Chester. They were protesting over what they say are growing threats to their safety.

Corrections officials say the attack led to a lockdown.
Published in Local News

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