People on WSIU Radio
Wed August 8, 2012
DOC to Stop Transferring Inmates; Will Meet with Union
Illinois prison officials will stop all closure-related inmate transfers from the Tamms Correctional Center until August 17.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the union who represents corrections workers, filed the injunction out of safety concerns. Wednesday Illinois officials agreed to stop transferring inmates from prisons they plan to close until the union representing Corrections Department employees can have a say in the process. Twenty-seven Supermax prisoners were transferred from Tamms last week. Officials used transfer procedures that were designed for death row inmates. AFSCME regional director Eddie Caumiant says that adds to the safety problems.
Last week AFSCME filed a suit seeking an injunction to halt the transfer of up to 5,000 inmates from Tamms and Dwight prisons along with adult transition centers in Carbondale, Chicago, and Decatur and youth centers in Murphysboro and Joliet. The lawsuit claims Governor Quinn's plan to close prisons at Tamms, Dwight, and elsewhere will endanger state Corrections Department staff and inmates in other crowded prisons. AFSCME wants Quinn to ensure employee safety in what it says are understaffed prisons. The state corrections systems currently houses more than 48-thousand inmates in facilities designed for 33-thousand.
The union and state officials will go through arbitration August 14. Alexander County Judge Charles Cavaness will issue a final ruling on August 17.