“Guards’ union, Quinn fight over prison closures” @ Chicago Tribune

Posted on August 27, 2012

Monique Garcia — August 27, 2012: “As Gov. Pat Quinn attempts to move forward with the closure of several prisons and juvenile detention centers, thousands of inmates will be moved to facilities that corrections workers and watchdog groups warn already are dangerously overcrowded and understaffed.

The Democratic governor argues the closures must happen to help dig the state out of its massive debt. But the move has sparked a bitter fight with the state’s largest employee union, which says the closures will decimate the economies of the small towns that rely on prisons for jobs, not to mention the safety concerns.

The closures were supposed to be completed at the end of this month, but that’s unlikely to happen because of a lawsuit by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The union has asked a judge to block the closures, saying guards face “injury or death” as cells continue to fill up. The two sides are in arbitration, but the state has agreed to halt prisoner transfers through at least Friday……………….”

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