AFSCME files suit to halt prison closures

By WEEK Producer

AFSCME files suit to halt prison closures

August 2, 2012 Updated Aug 2, 2012 at 2:44 PM CDT

ALEXANDER COUNTY, Ill. -- The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 31 filed a lawsuit against Governor Pat Quinn Thursday, arguing that closing several state prisons is a safety risk.

In a release, AFSCME said Quinn's plans to close several prisons and adult transitional centers across the state is "worsening dangerous overcrowding" and that "inappropriate inmate transfers pose a safety risk to prison workers."

"Inmates are being sent to prisons that are too crowded, too short of staff, or lacking appropriate security features to safely incarcerate them," AFSCME Council 31 executive director Henry Bayer said. "We're asking the court for an injunction to prevent the state from moving forward with any closure until the related grievances have been resolved."

The suit was filed Thursday in Alexander County, the location of the Tamms Correctional Center, one of the few centers slated for closure.

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