Illinois Governor Pat Quinn says he will let the proper legal process play out before he closes state prisons. The Illinois Supreme Court said Tuesday a lower court must lift an order granted to a state workers' union. The order allowed the facilities to remain open. Quinn said at a press conference Wednesday the ruling clears the way for him to close the high-security Tamms prison in southern Illinois and six other facilities. Assistant Budget Director Abdon Pallasch tells KZIM KSIM they are satisfied this can now move forward. Quinn says the facilities are half empty and the money to operate them would be better spent by the Department of Children and Family Services. Union officials say closing the prisons will worsen overcrowding in the correctional system. They had no comment on the Supreme Court ruling. No word on when Alexander County Judge Charles Cavaness will vacate his preliminary injunction to keep the prisons open. That will determine when Tamms will ultimately close for good. It was slated to shut down last August but kept open due to legal challenges.
Return to: Local News Blog