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Livingston Co. eyes part of closed Dwight prison

Published: Thursday, June 13, 2013 11:00 a.m. CST

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — The Livingston County sheriff says he's hoping to get permission to use a portion of the closed Dwight Correctional Center to house hundreds of inmates.

Sheriff Marty Meredith tells the Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises Newspapers ( ) that he's meeting with state officials next week. He wants Livingston County to take over a cell house in the prison that was once the only maximum-security lockup for women. Under his plan, the county would house up to 300 prisoners from the federal prison system, Cook County and elsewhere.

The roughly 950-prisoner facility was one of several that closed earlier this year as part of the state's cost-cutting moves.

In a statement, a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Corrections said the agency was "interested in practical new ideas" for the facilities.

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