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Illinois prison guards demand stop to violent offender transfer

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The union representing Illinois correctional workers is demanding a stop to what it says is the transfer of violent maximum-security prison inmates to less-secure lockups.

The letter sent Wednesday and obtained by The Associated Press was addressed to Department of Corrections Director S.A. "Tony" Godinez (goh-DEE'-nez).

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees says in one instance up to 15 inmates were being moved to medium-security prisons. The inmates allegedly beat two guards and a chaplain at Menard prison last week.

The union is worried increased violence has ushered a return of "circuit riders" - keeping troublemakers isolated by moving them from prison to prison.

The 1998 opening of the high-security Tamms prison ended that practice. But Gov. Pat Quinn closed Tamms in January because of budget cuts.

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