CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn says he will let the proper legal process play out before he closes state prisons.
The Illinois Supreme Court says a lower court must lift an order granted to a state workers' union. The order allowed the facilities to remain open.
Quinn said at a press conference Wednesday the ruling clears the way for him to close the high-security Tamms prison in southern Illinois and six other facilities.
The governor says the facilities are at least half empty and the money to operate them would be better spent by the Department of Children and Family Services.
Quinn said workers at the facilities will be offered other state jobs.
Union officials say closing the prisons will worsen overcrowding in the correctional system, making prison jobs more dangerous.