U.S. Congressmen Davis and Rush speak on Tamms closure

 Supermax was human rights catastrophe, irresponsible reentry policy and drain on budget

 

Mental Health Advocates say Illinois should not damage men in its custody

 

A Press conference to show support for the closure of Tamms, and reiterate the need for mental health treatment instead of extended isolation and segregation will be held Wednesday, September 26, 2012 at 3 p.m.,  in the Blue Room, 15th floor, James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph Street, Chicago.

Participants will thank Governor Pat Quinn “for his pragmatic and principled decision to close Tamms and respond to AFSCME’s claims.”

U.S. Representative Danny K. Davis, 7th Congressional District of Illinois, U.S. Representative Bobby Rush, 1st Congressional District of Illinois, 5th District Democratic State Senate Candidate Patricia Van Pelt Watkins, Mental health advocates in Illinois, and Mary Fabri, clinical psychologist and the recently retired Director of the Marjorie Kovler Center for the Treatment of Survivors of Torture will attend the press conference.

• Tamms was designed for isolation and sensory deprivation, conditions that induce mental breakdowns. A federal judge found that Tamms inflicts lasting mental harm. These men are returned to our communities damaged by their time in state custody.

• Every employee affected by prison closures will receive a job in another prison. Transferring the staff to where they are needed will stabilize those prisons and save millions in overtime costs.

• Transferring less than 400 men will not affect prison overcrowding in a system of 29,000 prisoners. (In fact Pontiac, where most of the men from the supermax will go, is at 96% capacity.)

• Other states have recently closed or greatly altered their supermax prisons, including Mississippi and Maine, in favor of treatment and programming. They saved money, and all measures of violence plummeted.

• Human rights monitors have condemned the prison because it flouts international standards for humane treatment. 

VISUAL: 

Family members holding signs:

TREATMENT NOT TAMMS

TAMMS IS A MENTAL HEALTH ISSUE

THANK YOU GOVERNOR QUINN!

I AM A MOM (after the signs from the civil rights movement)
MY BROTHER IS A HUMAN BEING
MY SON IS NOT A PAYCHECK
TAMMS SHOCKS THE CONSCIENCE
TAMMS DESTROYS LIVES

CLOSE TAMMS

HUMAN RIGHTS OVER VENGEANCE

WE SUPPORT UNIONS THAT SUPPORT HUMAN RIGHTS