Critics are wondering whether violent Illinois prisoners can be safely mingled with general-population inmates if Tamms Correctional Center closes. Tamms is a "supermax" prison opened in 1998 to house criminals who caused problems in other prisons. Governor Pat Quinn says the prison is too costly. His Corrections Department says other prisons can safely house Tamms residents. In an analysis of public records, The Associated Press finds that 115 of Tamms' 180 inmates are convicted of murder and serving life sentences or terms exceeding a half-century. It appears 75 inmates were convicted of crimes in other prisons, including sexual assault, but there's no way of knowing why the remainder are there. Officials denied AP's request for the that information.
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