Working from the Inside Out

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Guest Post by Maya Schenwar Editors’ Note: The following is an excerpt from Locked Down, Locked Out: Why Prison Doesn’t Work and How We Can Do Better, a new book by Maya Schenwar. Locked Down, Locked Out shows how “the institution that locks up 2.3 million Americans and decimates poor communities of color is shredding the […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/16/2014]

Solitary confinement news roundup: 7 Days in Solitary

The following roundup features noteworthy news, reports and opinions on solitary confinement from the past week that have not been covered in other Solitary Watch posts. •  Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus wrote about the case of 22-year-old Reginald Latson, a young Black man diagnosed with autism who was incarcerated after a confrontation with a […]

Seven Days in Solitary [8/3/2014]

Solitary confinement news roundup: 7 Days in Solitary

The following roundup features noteworthy news, reports and opinions on solitary confinement from the past week that have not been covered in other Solitary Watch posts. • California’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) introduced new policies that limit the use of force against prisoners with mental illness, including establishing strict restrictions on cell extractions from […]

Voices from Solitary: A Day in the Life, Part III

Tamms Cells

This post is the third in a series of pieces Solitary Watch is publishing as part of a new project calling for people held in solitary confinement to write on various proposed themes (read the first and second entries here and here). Our first suggested theme, “A Day in the Life,” calls for writers to describe a day in his […]

Voices from Solitary: Hunger Strike in Menard Prison

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A little over a year ago, the notorious Tamms Correctional Center was closed, after a long battle by activists and with the support of Governor Pat Quinn. Individuals were rehoused in prisons across Illinois, including Menard Correctional Center, the largest maximum-security institution in the state. While few would argue that it is anything but an improvement over […]

Voices from Solitary: American Supermax

TAMMS CORRECTIONAL CENTER

Joseph Dole is serving a life without parole sentence for a conviction that he continues to fight pro se. He was confined in Tamms Supermax Prison for a full decade, from 2002 through 2012, when a court ruling gave him and others at Tamms a due process right to a fair hearing, which allowed him to win a […]

The Art of Activism: Closing Tamms Supermax

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A new article from Creative Time Reports highlights the role played by politically engaged art in the campaign to shut down Tamms supermax prison in southern Illinois. Tamms closed its doors for good in January, but only after a protracted battle in which family members of the incarcerated, grassroots activists, and artists–joined to form the group […]

The End of Tamms Supermax

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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

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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 […]

Tamms Supermax Prison Closure Temporarily Halted

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On September 4th, Alexander County Circuit Court Judge Charles Cavaness  temporarily halted Illinois Governor Pat Quinn’s plan to close the Tamms supermax prison, where hundreds of inmates have been held in solitary confinement. The ruling came days after an arbitrator ruled that the Governors plan was in violation of union contracts. Prison union employees with […]