Union to Continue Fight Against Prison Closures

Dec 13, 2012

AFSCME says it will continue its legal battle to keep several Illinois prisons open. This comes after the Illinois Supreme Court sided with Governor Pat Quinn's effort to close what he says are under-used, expensive facilities.

A trial judge in southern Illinois had issued a restraining order -- blocking Quinn from doing anything to close prisons while a labor union fought him in court. But the Supreme Court says that restraining order has to be lifted.

The AFSCME union already lost before an independent arbitrator -- now it's challenging that decision in court.

Spokesman Anders Lindall says it'll continue that fight.

He says the Supreme Court decision does not change the unnecessarily dangerous conditions under which Illinois prison guards work.

As soon as the restraining order is lifted, Quinn can continue transferring inmates and staff out of the facilities he wants closed -- in Tamms, Dwight, Murphysboro and Joliet.

Illinois Public Radio's Brian Mackey contributed to this report