Tamms prison and other Illinois facilities may be shut down

Photo: Tiny clear circles, the view from outside the cell, cover a white man sitting in a prison cell at Tamms in Illinois. Photo source: Tribune, Google Images

Joseph Dole serving life at Tamms prison. | Tribune

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn today proposed closing Tamms super max prison, Dwight maximum security prison for women, two juvenile detention centers and six halfway houses to make up for a budget shortfall.

Conditions at Tamms have been compared to those at Guantanamo Bay, where detainees of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars are held. For at least 23 hours a day, prisoners sit in solitary confinement in 7-by-12-foot cells. There is little to no contact with the outside world. Inmates are allowed one hour for exercise in outdoor cages, and receive meals through a chuckhole. For a rare visit from relatives or friends, inmates are strip-searched, chained to a concrete stool and separated from visitors by a thick glass wall.

The state legislature still has to approve Quinn’s budget, and closing prisons is not likely to be popular; however, the extraordinary expense to operate Tamms—$64,000 per inmate per year, almost triple the state average of other facilities—may persuade lawmakers to shut it down.

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2 thoughts on “Tamms prison and other Illinois facilities may be shut down

  1. Pingback: Tamms prison and other Illinois facilities may be shut down | QClick Radar

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