Obama's 2014 Budget Confirms Plans for "ADX Thomson," New Federal Supermax Prison

The Obama Administration’s 2014 budget request for the Department of Justice, released this week, confirms that the federal government will open a second ultra-secure supermax prison within the next two years. The new prison will be an “Administrative Maximum U.S. Penitentiary.” Administrative Maximum is a security classification currently held only by the notorious ADX Florence in Colorado, where […]

The End of Tamms Supermax

As the new year began, the notorious Tamms state supermax in southern Illinois closed its doors forever. The closure marked the end of a decade-long effort that combined legal and political pressure with press exposes and tireless grassroots organizing. One excellent recap of this effort and its remarkable outcome was published by In These Times, here. Two […]

Tamms Supermax: Report Reveals More Guards Than Prisoners, Soaring Costs

The Belleville News-Democrat known for a 2009 exposé that helped rouse opposition to conditions at Tamms Supermax, has now provided new ammunition in the longstanding battle to close the notorious prison. In addition to being both unnecessary and abusive, Tamms is incredibly inefficient, according to a new story by George Pawlaczyk and Beth Hundsdorfer. Tamms Supermax, which is part […]

Shutting Down a Supermax: An Interview With Alan Mills of the Uptown People's Law Center

Alan Mills is the Legal Director of the Uptown People’s Law Center in Chicago, Illinois.  The Center has been involved in ongoing litigation on behalf of Illinois prisoners challenging the procedures used to send inmates to Tamms, the state’s supermax facility.  Shortly after Illinois Governor announced plans to close Tamms, he spoke with Solitary Watch about […]

Now Available: Collection of Written Testimony for Senate Judiciary Subcommittee Hearing on Solitary Confinement

Solitary Watch is building an archive of written testimony submitted to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights, in connection with the hearing on solitary confinement to be held on Tuesday at 10 am. You can access the archive (still a work-in-progress) by clicking here, or by going through our Resources page. […]

First Congressional Hearing on Solitary Confinement to Be Held June 19

The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights, chaired by Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin, has announced that it will hold a hearing later this month on solitary confinement in U.S. prisons and jails–the first-ever Congressional hearing on this subject. The subcommittee released the following information today: Reassessing Solitary Confinement: The Human Rights, Fiscal, […]