“Controversial Tamms Closure A Triumph For Prison Reformers” @ Tamms Year Ten

Posted on June 26, 2012

Matthew Blake — June 26, 2012: “Governor Pat Quinn’s decision to shutter Tamms Correctional Center, effective August 31, in order to save money is a landmark victory for prison reform advocates who spent a decade fighting to close the facility that has held inmates for years in 24-hour solitary confinement.

“We are ending the era of solitary confinement,” says Laurie Jo Reynolds, an organizer with the Tamms Year Ten coalition, which ran a legislative campaign to close the prison. Reynolds noted that other states, such as Mississippi and Maine, also recently shut down solitary confinement facilities and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) conducted a Senate hearing last week on solitary confinement.

But Quinn’s unilateral action goes against the wishes of the Illinois General Assembly. It also further alienates the governor from AFSCME Council 31, the union representing many of the state’s public employees. The union is steadfastly against the closings and other Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) shut downs, even though the governor’s office says the moves will result in no public employee layoffs…………………………..”

Read more at Progress Illinois.