The lawmakers stressed the potential safety problems that will arise from the further overcrowding of a prison system that already houses nearly 16,000 more inmates than it was designed to accommodate, according to a story written by The Associated Press.
"Closing prisons in a system that's already overcrowded, it's illogical to say that's possible or safe," Sen. Michael Frerichs told The Associated Press. It has double the 900 inmates for which it was designed.
Sen. Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) told the AP Monday that Joliet's Illinois Youth Center is the only place in the state devoted to the worst juvenile offenders.
Quinn announced the prison closures as a way to save money in a budget that has a huge deficit and has been adamant in his refusal to reverse his position. However, the jail employees' union, AFSCME, has won a temporary restraining order stopping the closure until the safety issues are addressed per the union contract.