Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hard times at Tamms: Corrections chief to review prisoner treatment

ST. LOUIS — Tamms Correctional Center’s first warden made no apologies for christening the tough southwest Illinois prison a home for a “very unhappy inmate population.” Critics wasted no time dubbing it an inhumane endeavor.Eleven years later, the debate over the lockup where the worst offenders spend 23 hours per day in their cells remains unchanged, but Gov. Pat Quinn expects a newly minted Department of Corrections chief to take a long look at the super maximum-security prison where inmates are meant to serve hard time.Quinn has tapped Michael Randle, second in command of Ohio’s prison system, as Illinois’ new department head. The Chicago-born Randle won’t start his new job until next month, but Quinn already has made clear one assignment will be to examine prisoner treatment at Tamms.“I’m going to ask Director Randle to meet with all of those who are concerned about the issue of Tamms in deep southern Illinois in Alexander County,” Quinn said. “It is an issue we have to listen to everyone on, but Director Randle will make the final decision on what is best and recommend that to me.”Those who question the humaneness of typically giving Tamms’ populace no more than an hour a day outside 7-by-12-foot cells square off against the prison’s backers who call the segregation essential to safely containing the most dangerous of a 45,500-inmate, 28-prison state system.“We have a very unhappy inmate population,” Tamms’ first warden, George Welborn, proudly declared in 1998.State Rep. Brandon Phelps, a Democrat whose district includes the prison and its 242 inmates in long-suffering Alexander County, argued this week that Tamms “doesn’t have to be messed with.”

Full Article....http://www.sj-r.com/state/x12067797/IDOC-to-take-new-look-at-Tamms-supermax-prison

Democrat Elected Officials

  • Effingham County Board Distric G-Doug McCain
  • Effingham County Treasurer - Steve Dasenbrock
  • Effingham County Board District C - Karen Luchtefeld

Effingham County Democrats Officers

  • Chairman - Audrey Griffith
  • First Vice Chairman - Dan Niebrugge
  • Second Vice Chairman - Allen Wente
  • Secretary - James Hammer
  • Treasurer - Shirley McEvers