Closer Look: Ill. union sees danger in prison cuts

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn is being accused by a major Illinois union of pushing for budget cuts that endanger public safety.

Quinn's office says the cuts can be made safely. But the facts support some concerns raised by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

The Democratic governor wants to close two prisons and six halfway houses.

Illinois prisons are already extremely overcrowded. Losing two prisons would make conditions worse in the ones that remain, which means more danger for both inmates and guards.

Closing the halfway houses means another 1,000 low-level offenders will be placed on parole. At the same time, Quinn appears to be cutting parole agents.

Some local police officials and a prison watchdog group have expressed concerns.

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