No date has been announced yet for the planned closure of the Dwight Prison. (Kent Casson/WJBC)
By Paul Morello
DWIGHT - Gov. Pat Quinn has been given the go-ahead to close state prisons, including Dwight Correctional Center, but Dwight Mayor Bill Wilkey said Thursday the fight's not over.
An Alexander County judge yesterday dissolved an injunction stopping prison closures in Illinois.
"I don't think it's the deciding blow," Wilkey said. "I think there are a couple other things that are still in the fire and from the people that I've talked to, it sounds like they'll actually start closing Tamms Prison first."
Prisoners at Dwight are supposed to be transferred to Lincoln Correctional Center, but Wilkey is skeptical of that.
"Lincoln is no where close to being able to handle what we've got at Dwight," he said. "They don't have the processing facilities or anything there for what they'd need."
Wilkey said he hasn't heard a specific timeline for the Dwight closure.
Quinn said shuttering the high-security Tamms prison, the Dwight facility and others makes taxpayers "the real winners today.'' He says the state can't afford the facilities in a budget crisis and that many are underutilized.
An AFSCME spokesman said Wednesday night that the closures make the remaining prisons "more dangerous for employees, inmates and the public.''