ACTION ALERT: Press Conference on Tamms TOMORROW!

Posted on September 26, 2012


Congressmen Davis and Rush Support Tamms Closure: Supermax Was Human Rights Catastrophe, Irresponsible Reentry Policy and Drain on Budget

Mental Health Advocates Say Illinois Should Not Damage Men in Its Custody

Press conference to show support for the closure of Tamms, and reiterate the need for mental health treatment instead of extended isolation and segregation. Participants will thank Governor Quinn for his pragmatic and principled decision to close Tamms and respond to AFSCME’s claims about why it should stay open.
–U.S. Representative Danny K. Davis, 7th Congressional District of Illinois
–U.S. Representative Bobby Rush, 1st Congressional District of Illinois
–Democratic State Senate Candidate Patricia Van Pelt Watkins–soon to be Illinois State Senator Illinois 5th District!
–Mental health advocates in Illinois
–Mary Fabri, clinical psychologist and the recently retired Director of the Marjorie Kovler Center for the Treatment of Survivors of Torture

Wednesday, September 26, 2012, 3:00pm press conference

Blue Room, 15th floor, James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph Street, Chicago
• Tamms was designed for isolation and sensory deprivation, conditions that induce mental breakdowns. A federal judge found that Tamms inflicts lasting mental harm. These men are returned to our communities damaged by their time in state custody.
• Every employee affected by prison closures will receive a job in another prison. Transferring the staff to where they are needed will stabilize those prisons and save millions in overtime costs.

• Transferring less than 400 men will not affect prison overcrowding in a system of 29,000 prisoners. (In fact Pontiac, where most of the men from the supermax will go, is at 96% capacity.)

• Other states have recently closed or greatly altered their supermax prisons, including Mississippi and Maine, in favor of treatment and programming. They saved money, and all measures of violence plummeted.
• Human rights monitors have condemned the prison because it flouts international standards for humane treatment.