A lawsuit seeking an injunction to prevent the state from moving forward with the closure of Dwight and Tamms prisons as well as a handful of adult transition centers and youth centers has been filed in Alexander County. The American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees filed the suit Thursday in order to “protect its members that are at risk of injury and death due to the decisions of the Governor of the State,” the suit reads in part.
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The suit notes that, “maximum security inmates at Tamms will be transferred to the maximum security prison in Pontiac, Illinois, where they will be single-celled. This means that many prisoners at Pontiac will now be double-celled in order to make space. This domino effect will make Pontiac a much more dangerous place to work”.
The governor has been pushing to close the facilities for fiscal reasons. AFSCME, which represents employees at the facilities, says the push for closures comes at a time when the system is overflowing with more than 48,000 inmates in facilities built for just 33,000.
Proposed closures include prisons at Dwight and Tamms, adult transition centers in Carbondale, Chicago and Decatur, and youth centers in Joliet and Murphysboro.