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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - An Illinois prison-monitoring group says Menard Correctional Center inmates reported concern about "aggressive cellmates" during a visit shortly before a string of three inmate murders since January.

The John Howard Association visited the prison in far southern Illinois in December. Its report, released late yesterday, said several older inmates were worried about cellmates. And the independent watchdog said housing inmates with long sentences with those facing shorter stretches "can be problematic."

Authorities have charged three Menard inmates with murdering cellmates since January. In one, a 40-year-old murderer is accused of beating and strangling a 25-year-old cellmate. In another, a 23-year-old inmate is charged with fatally beating a 64-year-old cellmate.

Corrections officials responded in the report that they review inmates before housing them together.

 

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