HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Unions representing Connecticut prison workers say hundreds of inmates have to sleep on the floor due to overcrowding of the state’s prisons.

Union leaders are calling on the state to reverse its decision to close Bergin Correctional Institution in Mansfield as part of its budget cuts.

Local union presidents Luke Leone and Lisamarie Fontano said at a news conference on Monday that the number of inmates in unconventional housing such as gymnasiums or sleeping on floors has risen to about 870 across the system since Bergin closed. They say the unusual accommodations make it harder to control inmates and put guards at risk.

The unions have filed suit to stop the closing of the 600-bed facility.

A Correction Department spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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