The union representing Illinois prison workers says it'll continue its legal fight to keep Governor Pat Quinn from closing several facilities. But a day after the Illinois Supreme Court sided with Quinn in the dispute, the AFSCME union acknowledged time could be running out. The Supreme Court ordered a lower court to stop blocking Quinn from closing the facilities. He could soon resume transferring inmates and staff out of prisons he says are under used and expensive; the supermax at Tamms, the women's prison in Dwight, and youth prisons in Joliet and Murphysboro. Quinn emphasized that workers are being offered jobs in other facilities:
"They are not losing their job. They're offered a new job, relatively close to home, but just not in the same place."
But union members say their fight is not about jobs. They say the prisons are massively overcrowded, and closing any facilities will only make the situation worse. The union lost that argument before an arbitrator, but will continue pressing a judge to overturn that decision, even as Quinn moves ahead with the closures.
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