Ex-wardens: Mixing inmate groups a safety risk
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Andres Hernandez is set to go home in May after serving six months in an Illinois prison for attempting to sell marijuana. Kelsey Swickard is about halfway through a 12-year stretch for robbery and aggravated battery. Convicted murderer Dion Spears would be 93 when he's eligible for parole in 2075.
It's clear why these inmates are sitting it out in prisons with different security stages: the minimum-security East Moline Correctional Center for Hernandez, medium for Swickard at Graham prison in Hillsboro, and Spears at the maximum-level Menard prison in the southern Illinois city of Chester.
But the strict segregation of inmates may become more difficult as the Illinois Department of Corrections struggles with budget cuts that have led to fewer staff members while the prison population jumped — all before the closure of one major prison with another soon to follow.
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