Dwight Correctional Center remains open as the state fights an injunction against closing the facility. (WJBC file photo)
By Jim Anderson
CAIRO - Now that his veto of funding for prisons has been affirmed, the governor is planning to ask a judge this week for permission to close for facilities.
A judge in Alexander County issued an injunction preventing the Department of Corrections from closing Tamms, Dwight, and the youth facilities at Murphysboro and Joliet, but Gov. Pat Quinn now wants to resume emptying them.
“We stopped moving people out of those facilities when the judge issued his order, but now that the legislature has upheld my veto of the funding, we will submit that to the judge, the judicial branch, and say please, let us go forward with what the people of Illinois, through their elected representatives and the governor have decided is the proper course,” he said.
Quinn this year vetoed $55 million from the Department of Corrections budget, and intends to spend it instead in the Department of Children and Family Services, where he believes it is needed more. He says the facilities he wishes to close are expensive to operate and have low populations, or, in the case of Murphysboro, no population.
The governor says affected workers will be re-assigned, not fired.
The hearing in Cairo is scheduled for Wednesday.