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Prisoner Transfer Blocked In Illinois

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (CN) - Illinois can't transfer prisoners from its maximum-security Pontiac prison yet, a state judge has ruled. Johnson County Judge James Williamson said the state must address security concerns.

Several prisoners at Pontiac Correctional Center were set to be moved to the Vienna Correctional Center, in Johnson County, where the prison workers union filed the suit.

The union says Vienna is one of several prisons that are receiving prisoners who were reclassified from maximum security to minimum in order to house Pontiac's 1,600 inmates.

A Dec. 1 hearing has been set.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich said the move would save the state $2 million a year as it faces a budget deficit of $2 billion. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which represents Pontiac's 570 employees, opposes the move.

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