“Tamms inmates’ mothers back plans to close prison” @ Chicago Tribune

Posted on April 5, 2012

Cynthia Dizikes — April 5, 2012: “The group of mothers stood beneath the sun in downtown Chicago on Wednesday, taking turns at a microphone to tell how the state’s controversial super-max prison has changed their sons.

One described her son’s precipitous weight loss since being incarcerated in the facility in Tamms in southern Illinois 21/2 years ago. Another spoke of her son’s slide into depression and hopelessness because of his extreme isolation. And a third detailed a maddening daily routine: In order to stay active, she said her son now spends hours walking in small circles in his windowless concrete cell.

“You did a crime, you need to pay for it,” said Geneva Mullins, whose son was convicted of attempted murder and conspiracy in a murder and is now at the Tamms super-max. “But you wouldn’t treat an animal like this. It is inhumane.”

Mullins and other relatives of Tamms inmates were joined outside the Thompson Center by several former prisoners and members of human rights advocacy organizations. The news conference followed a contentious legislative hearing earlier this week on Gov.Pat Quinn’splan to close Tamms to save the state millions of dollars…………………………………………..”

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