Quinn: Reporters visiting prisons a security risk

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says state prisons are not "country clubs" and is refusing to let reporters tour them because it's a security risk.

The Democrat said Friday that taxpayers will have to trust his administration's experts about how the system is run.

Prisons are overcrowded and workers have had safety concerns for years. Quinn is closing two lockups to save money.

The prison watchdog John Howard Association issued reports last year about deplorable living conditions at packed Vandalia and Vienna prisons. WBEZ Radio in Chicago reported this week that Quinn's office has for months refused its request to visit them.

Officials on Friday declined an Aug. 1 request from The Associated Press to visit Pontiac's segregation unit, where dangerous inmates will move when high-security Tamms prison closes Aug. 31.

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