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Closing Tamms prison means changes at Pontiac facility to handle inmates

Posted by wlpo on October 3, 2012

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Illinois prison officials promise that inmates moved from the high-security Tamms prison after it closes will continue to be isolated at the lockup in Pontiac.

But prison workers say making room for them means moving segregated Pontiac inmates into cells together. Workers say that’s potentially dangerous for them and the inmates.

An internal Corrections Department report obtained by The Associated Press shows one fight between formerly segregated Pontiac prisoners on August 24th – less than a day after moving into the same cell – only ended after two bursts of pepper spray from correctional officers.

Corrections officials say there are sufficient safeguards at Pontiac to absorb the Tamms inmates securely.

Gov. Pat Quinn says Tamms must close to save money. A lawsuit has held up the Democrat’s plan.

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