Governor Pat Quinn WILL close two state prisons and a pair of juvenile detention centers, even though the legislature included funding in the budget to keep them open. That's according to Representative Brandon Phelps, a Democrat from Harrisburg. He says he received a letter from the governor's office about plans to move forward with closures. Phelps says that will be economically devastating for his district. Phelps represents Alexander County, where Tamms super max prison is located. He says closing it would be a mistake:
"The Governor says he's the jobs governor. Well, today you didn't show it, because you're cutting a lot of jobs that a lot of these communities need.
Tamms was built to house the state's most violent inmates, but it has drawn criticism for human rights violations. Phelps helped arrange to include money in the budget so Tamms could be converted to a medium security facility. The letter Phelps says he received from Quinn also states that the administration will close the state prison in Dwight and juvenile detention facilities in Murphysboro and Joliet, as well as centers that help inmates transition out of prison. Quinn has indefinitely postponed closing inmate transition centers in Peoria and Fox Valley.
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