An independent arbitrator has ruled that Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has taken the necessary steps and may proceed with closing seven correctional facilities -- including the high-security prison at Tamms.
The union representing correctional workers released arbitrator Steven Bierig's decision Monday. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees planned to ask a judge in Alexander County to keep in place an order prohibiting the closures.
Two major Illinois prisons and other facilities will stay open for at least another month after an arbitrator ruled Gov. Pat Quinn's administration violated workers' rights in rushing to close them.
Arbitrator Steven Bierig concluded Friday that the state departments of Corrections and Juvenile Justice did not properly negotiate with workers over the impact of closing the supermax Tamms prison, the Dwight women's lockup and several juvenile facilities.
Rachel Otwell contributed reporting from Springfield, Ill.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn made it official on Tuesday - he will close two state prisons, including the state's supermax facility in Tamms.
Rep. Brandon Phelps, of Harrisburg, says he received a brief memo from Quinn, saying that Tamms and a prison in Dwight will close, as well as juvenile detention centers in Joliet and Murphysboro. That's despite legislators including money in the 2013 budget for the facilities.
The governor's office says closing Tamms prison would save the state nearly $22 million next year. Quinn says it costs more than 64,000 per year to lock up a prisoner there - about three times the statewide average.