Prison Officials Drop Aug. 31 As Shutdown Date - Wandtv.com, NewsCenter17, StormCenter17, Central Illinois News-

Prison Officials Drop Aug. 31 As Shutdown Date

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has officially abandoned his hope of shutting down prisons by Friday.

A letter from the Corrections Department instructs employees at targeted prisons to keep reporting to work. In it, Director S.A. "Tony" Godinez (goh-DEE'-nez) announces a "temporary delay for the layoffs and closures" that were scheduled for Aug. 31.

The letter was obtained Monday by The Associated Press.

Quinn wanted to empty the Tamms supermax prison and the women's prison at Dwight to save money.

But the prison workers' union filed a lawsuit. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees claims Corrections must negotiate conditions, particularly on handling the Tamms population.

Union spokesman Anders Lindall says arbitration hearings will take place daily this week.

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