Tamms

Tamms is a supermax prison in Illinois where prisoners are held in long-term solitary confinement, often for a decade or longer. In 2010, an Illinois federal court found that "Tamms imposes drastic limitations on human contact, so much so as to inflict lasting psychological and emotional harm on inmates confined there for long periods." A number of states have dramatically reduced their use of solitary confinement, preserving prison and public safety and saving millions of dollars in the process. None of these states have experienced any adverse effect on prison or public safety as a result of reducing their use of solitary confinement. The ACLU calls on the state of Illinois to follow suit and close Tamms.

Tamms "Supermax" Prison, with its Inhumane and Ridiculously Expensive Solitary Confinement Practices, is Officially a Thing of the Past!

Tamms "Supermax" Prison, with its Inhumane and Ridiculously Expensive Solitary Confinement Practices, is Officially a Thing of the Past!

By Amy Fettig, ACLU National Prison Project at 11:00am

Here’s to starting the New Year right. The notorious Tamms Correctional Center in Illinois, with its practice of housing human beings alone in cells for 22-24 hours per day with little or no human interaction or outside stimulus, officially shut its doors today.

Solitary Confinement in Arizona: Cruel and Unusual

Solitary Confinement in Arizona: Cruel and Unusual

By David Fathi, National Prison Project at 1:09pm

A class action lawsuit filed today by the ACLU, along with the Prison Law Office, the Arizona Center for Disability Law, and the law firms Jones Day and Perkins Coie, alleges that the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) houses thousands of…

97 Years in Prison for a Mentally Ill Man Who Threw Feces

By Amy Fettig, ACLU National Prison Project at 12:43pm

Anthony Gay was sentenced to an incredible 97 years in prison for throwing feces out his food slot, behavior experts characterize as symptomatic for severely mentally ill people held in solitary confinement. Yesterday the ACLU joined the National…

Refusing to Disappear: Prisoners at Tamms and their Families Conducted a Sustained Advocacy Campaign to Shut this "Supermax" Down

Refusing to Disappear: Prisoners at Tamms and their Families Conducted a Sustained Advocacy Campaign to Shut this "Supermax" Down

By Alan Mills, Legal Director, Uptown People’s Law Center at 3:58pm

Tamms was sold to the public as necessary to control the “worst of the worst” prisoners in Illinois. Yet when it opened in 1998, the majority of prisoners had virtually no disciplinary history at all.

ACLU Calls for Tamms Closure

ACLU Calls for Tamms Closure

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 1:29pm

In a new podcast, former Tamms prisoner Brian Nelson talks about the 23 years he spent in solitary confinement.

Tightening Belts Means Loosening Restraints:  Illinois to Close Supermax Prison

Tightening Belts Means Loosening Restraints: Illinois to Close Supermax Prison

By Tanya Greene, Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU at 11:00am

One of the more positive things to result from deteriorating state budgets across the nation is that some state lawmakers are looking to smart criminal justice reform as a way to trim budgets. Whether motivated by cost savings or human rights, these…

Closing Tamms Supermax: A Chance To Reevaluate Solitary Confinement

Closing Tamms Supermax: A Chance To Reevaluate Solitary Confinement

By Ed Yohnka, ACLU of Illinois at 5:43pm

This is a good week in Illinois. Yesterday, Gov. Pat Quinn announced that he would close the “supermax” facility at Tamms Correctional Facility, where prisoners are held in long-term solitary confinement.

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