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Ex-wardens: Mixing Inmate Groups a Safety Risk

By Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Former Illinois prison wardens have reservations about the state's handling of the inmate population.      

The Department of Corrections moved up to 15 maximum-security inmates implicated in a prison fight two weeks ago to secure segregation cells at lower-level prisons. And Corrections said last week it is setting up temporary housing for minimum-security inmates in medium-security prison gymnasiums, including Centralia and Vandalia.      

Gerardo Acevedo retired as prison warden at the Hill Correctional Center.  He says it will be difficult to keep low-level and medium-security inmates separate in infirmaries, work assignments and religious services.     

George Welborn says medium-security segregation units are secure. But guards at those prisons aren't used to handling hardcore maximum-level inmates housed there.      Welborn is retired after serving as warden at Tamms.  Earlier in his career, Welborn was also the warden of the Centralia Correctional Center. 

Gov. Pat Quinn closed the high-security Tamms prison to save money.

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