State Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg) released the following statement regarding Governor Pat Quinn’s planned August 31, 2012 closure of the Tamms Correctional Center and other Southern Illinois facilities:
“I am disappointed and shocked by the governor’s out-of-touch efforts to close the Tamms Correctional Center, one of the few facilities in the state that deals with the most disruptive, violent and problematic offenders. This decision will put 300 Southern Illinoisans in the unemployment line.
We all know that Illinois is facing a huge financial crisis that will require government to cut back and reduce spending. But if the governor wants to show he is serious about getting the state to live within its means, he should focus on all of the waste and mismanagement that occurs in Springfield and Chicago on a daily basis before handing out pink slips to all the employees at Tamms, and again unfairly targeting Southern Illinois facilities which he has now done.
The governor’s plan is not a responsible way to address the state’s financial problems, which is why I proposed a plan where the prison could be retooled to become more of a standard prison. This would save much needed jobs and help to address the overcrowding within our state’s prisons. I believe that Governor Quinn does not know the huge mistake he is making. His bad decision will damage the local economy and make life even more difficult for many families who are already struggling to make ends meet. We need to collectively come together as Southern Illinois residents and pray for those families who will be affected by this closure. The Department of Juvenile Justice has informed me that affected employees will receive a new layoff packet with a revised list of available vacancies and an amended seniority roster.”
For more information, contact Rep. Phelps’ constituent service office at (618) 253-4189.