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Illinois transfers 72 inmates to Menard prison

Published: Saturday, June 15, 2013 11:25 a.m. CDT • Updated: Saturday, June 15, 2013 11:27 a.m. CDT

CHESTER, Ill. (AP) — Illinois prison officials say they've transferred 72 inmates to Menard Correctional Center in the southern Illinois community of Chester.

Illinois Department of Corrections spokesman Tom Shaer says the inmates were moved from Pinckneyville and Lawrence correctional centers to lower the number of prisoners housed in temporary units built in gymnasiums.

He says there were more than 600 inmates housed in gyms a month ago. Now only 130 inmates remain in gyms. He says the additional inmates at Menard are in an area that is adequately staffed.

Kevin Hirsch is president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1175 which represents Menard correctional officers. He says the transfers maintain a dangerous tendency toward overcrowding and understaffing at the prison.

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