Illinois inmate number contested - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Illinois inmate number contested

TAMMS, IL (KFVS) -

How many inmates are in Illinois prisons?

It depends on who you ask.

The Associated Press first reported that number of people locked up in Illinois prisons hit an all time high of 49,154, which is 19 more inmates than the previous record hit last October.

However, the state is disputing that number, saying while the number is more than 49,000, the record has not been broken.

Which number is correct is almost irrelevant when you consider that the prison system in Illinois was designed for less than 34,000 people.  Still, Governor Pat Quinn wants to close five correctional centers to save money, including the Tamms super max.

Those closures would mean a loss of another 1,700 prison beds.

Quinn had asked an appeals court to let him to go ahead and close the prison.

But the court says no.

So now Tamms and several other Illinois prisons will stay open for at least another 30-days, so the employees' union and the state can still try to come up with a way to keep the facilities open.

Copyright 2012 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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