A prison watchdog says "bed space is trumping security" in Illinois correctional facilities as officials announced they plan to set up temporary bed space in a half-dozen mostly medium-security prisons.
The change was announced Thursday in a letter from the Illinois Department of Corrections to the main employee union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
AFSCME says the move is in preparation for closing the women's prison in Dwight.
John Maki of the prison observer John Howard Association says the six prisons targeted are among the state's most crowded. He opposes Governor Pat Quinn's plan to close Dwight to save money.
Corrections spokeswoman Stacey Solano said gymnasiums at the six prisons will be used temporarily for minimum-security inmates.