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State

Quinn to allow prison tours

SPRINGFIELD (AP) – Gov. Pat Quinn appears to be backing away from his position that visits by reporters to Illinois prisons constitute a security risk.

Illinois’ Department of Corrections released a statement Friday saying officials are working to schedule tours of prisons by representatives of the media because of “increased interest in some Illinois prisons.”

Correction spokeswoman Stacey Solano says despite the change, “safety and security continues to be the department’s top priority.”

The Associated Press and other news media outlets have been denied tour requests under Quinn, who is attempting to close two prisons to save money despite historic overcrowding of the state’s prisons.

Democratic State Sen. Gary Forby of Benton says he is glad the Quinn administration is changing its position, saying the public should know everything the government is doing.

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