Illinois prison guards are stepping up their efforts to keep Governor Pat Quinn from shutting down two state penitentiaries.
A dozen guards spoke at the state Capitol Thursday to describe attacks on staff and inmates in the already overcrowded correctional system. They predict even more violence if the prisons are closed. Jake Dalton, a sergeant at the Pontiac prison, says his facility is drastically understaffed.
"The governor's lit a fuse on a powder keg, and he's not going to be around for the explosion.....we are."
The union for Corrections Department employees says assaults on staff jumped by 46 percent between 2007 and 2011. The administration counters that such attacks decreased last year. Quinn plans to close the supermax prison at Tamms and a women's prison at Dwight. He says inmates there can be transferred safely to other prisons. Quinn says that will save money that can be used on other important services.
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