Tamms likely won't remain a super-max

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois lawmakers gave Gov. Pat Quinn a few options to handle prison crowding this week. But the Democrat won't say whether he'll keep prisons open or reinstate early release for inmates.

Quinn did suggest Friday that, if the Tamms prison stays open, it won't remain a super-maximum-security lockup for troublesome inmates. Quinn says it's too expensive and can be "done in a different way."

The General Assembly found money in the session that ended Thursday to keep open facilities Quinn said had to close to save money -- including the Dwight and Tamms prisons. The plan would change Tamms into a lower-level lockup.

Lawmakers also refined early prisoner release -- an idea Quinn halted in 2009 in a scandal.

The state's prisons hold 14,000 more inmates than they're designed for.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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