Local News

Illinois state Sen. Gary Forby is urging Gov. Pat Quinn to drop his prison-closure plans with inmate numbers at an all-time high.

The Benton Democrat said Quinn should reconsider after reports said the prison population hit a record -- 49,154 -- last weekend.

The Corrections Department denied a figure that large even though the analysis was based on the agency's own numbers.

Quinn says a tight budget requires closure of 5 correctional facilities -- including Tamms in Forby's district. The Democrat pledges it can be done safely.

Quinn spokeswoman Kelly Kraft said Forby's comments are "filled with inaccuracies based on an inaccurate report" but did not explain why the administration is refuting its own numbers.

The AP's latest analysis of Corrections numbers shows 49,171 prisoners.

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