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Union Wants Violent Cons to Stay Put

By By JOHN O'CONNOR AP Political Writer

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The union representing Illinois correctional workers is demanding a stop to what it says is the transfer of violent maximum-security prison inmates to less-secure lockups.       

The letter sent Wednesday and obtained by The Associated Press was addressed to Department of Corrections Director S.A. "Tony".   The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees says in one instance up to 15 inmates were being moved to medium-security prisons. The inmates allegedly beat two guards and a chaplain at Menard prison last week.      

The union is worried increased violence has ushered a return of "circuit riders" - keeping troublemakers isolated by moving them from prison to prison.   The 1998 opening of the high-security Tamms prison ended that practice. But Gov. Pat Quinn closed Tamms in January because of budget cuts. 

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