A federal arbitrator ruled the state can move forward with closing the facility to save money.
It is not a decision leaders in the small town were expecting to hear.
"It totally blindsided me," said Dwight Mayor Bill Wilkey.
That's because several court rulings leading up to the arbitrator's ruling had supported the union fighting to keep the prison open.
But the arbitrator decided Governor Pat Quinn acted in good faith when the administration moved to close state facilities earlier this year.
Wilkey said he disagrees.
"I think they were trying to blindside the public thinking we're going to save a bunch of money. It's just not there, the facts. The facts, are just not there," he said.
Wilkey argues it will cost more in the long run to close the prison and house the inmates in prisons that are already overcrowded.
But the state argues Dwight's prison is no longer cost-effective because of its age and condition.
It is on the chopping block along with a prison in Tamms and dozens of other corrections facilities statewide.
The arbitrator didn't completely side with Quinn.
Part of the ruling agrees with the union's argument that the best solution is to keep all of the facilities open.
There are now two new lawsuits pending from both sides.
Wilkey is hoping lawmakers can take action during the upcoming veto session to restore funding.