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WJBD - Local News - Illinois Governor Says State Can Safely Handle Inmates When Tamms Prison Closes

Illinois Governor Says State Can Safely Handle Inmates When Tamms Prison Closes

By The Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's administration says it can safely handle hard-core inmates transferred from the high-security Tamms prison when it closes.  But officials acknowledge they can't duplicate Tamms' safety measures at the aged maximum-security Pontiac lockup where inmates will move.  

That angers prison workers and lawmakers because Corrections Director S.A. "Tony" Godinez (goh-DEE'-nez) said last spring that inmate monitoring at Pontiac would be "identical" to Tamms.  Officials say transfers will be segregated at Pontiac - just like at Tamms.  

Corrections spokeswoman Stacey Solano says Pontiac has been "fortified." She says openings in cell doors have been covered, security cameras added and other changes made that she would not detail for security reasons.  Quinn says Tamms must close because it's too costly.  A labor-union lawsuit has suspended closure.

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