By The Associated Press

Group asks Quinn to reconsider closing prison

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A prison watchdog group is asking Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn to reconsider plans to close the Dwight women's prison.

A statement from John Howard Association executive director John Maki on Wednesday says Dwight is the state's only maximum-security prison for women.

He says the Livingston County facility has been successful in hiring many female correctional officers and training staff to handle a population that overwhelmingly comes from backgrounds of physical, sexual and emotional abuse.

Quinn wants Dwight closed to save money. He closed the Tamms super-security prison earlier this year and several juvenile detention centers. Maki pointed out John Howard supported those closures.

Maki says Dwight is 80 miles from Chicago — home to many inmates' families. The distance allows inmates to maintain contact with children.

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