Trapped in Tamms: Inmates in Illinois' only supermax prison face battle proving mistreatment

Aug 3, 2009 Full story: Belleville News 45

Anthony Gay always fought back. Even in first grade he was quick with his fists, especially when kids mocked his temper or taunted him because he lived with foster parents.

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Kharma

Santa Barbara, CA

#1 Sep 4, 2009
A habitual violent offender with self mutilative tendencies and some einstein wants to give him access to something he can suffocate himself or someone else with? why not give him a gun. how do stupid people get positions of authority?
tax payer

Litchfield, IL

#2 Mar 20, 2011
considering illinois tax payers pay over $60,000 a year to house each inmate at Tamms, I think if the prisoners dont like the way they are treated then they should have been good tax paying citizens and not out breaking the laws that put them in a MAXIUM SECURITY PRISON to start with.
Ktownsista

Saint Louis, MO

#3 Mar 20, 2011
tax payer wrote:
considering illinois tax payers pay over $60,000 a year to house each inmate at Tamms, I think if the prisoners dont like the way they are treated then they should have been good tax paying citizens and not out breaking the laws that put them in a MAXIUM SECURITY PRISON to start with.
Amen. Its not like they got their by singing too loud in the choir!!
Ktownsista

Saint Louis, MO

#4 Mar 20, 2011
there*
concerned il citizen

United States

#5 Mar 27, 2011
Dont believe everything that's written about the treatment of the prisoners at the Tamms prison..they have it alot better than you think...if in doubt ask anyone who works there; they're not isolated..they hold conversations with their neighboring inmates, they're not stuck somewhere all alone, there's employees out among them all the time, they play chess with each other,the have tvs, they get magazines, books,etc...free meals, free medical/dental care which is something you or I cant even get. Alot of them even have alot of money in banks....with the State of Illinois in the shape it's in...why not charge them rent for each month that they are housed there and charge them a fee for all of the free services that taxpayers can't get...maybe then the state wouldn't be so broke after all!!!!
Stelbell

Willow Springs, IL

#6 Jun 30, 2011
People are so quick to judge. Unless you been to Tamms or know someone in there shut up because you don't have a clue. It is deplorable and everyone that thinks that everyone in prison never was a tax paying citizen are idiots. And another point I would like to make is what do we need court system for if we want to through people in holes and let them rot. Tamms cost 60,000 per prisoner and usually it's 18,000 per prisoner I as a tax paying citizen says stop paying the extra money to torture people when the state is broke. Some people go to Tamms because they fight for prison rights or complain too much or are targeted for being whistle blowers and everyone incarcerated are people and should be treated like humans at least and they do have to pay for dental maybe not a lot but what the hell Illinois and all the other states are making money off of prisons it's a business you idiots. It's suppose to be rehabilitation, do you want to live next door to someone who may have been in a bar fight and killed someone in self defense and is incarcerated in Tamms and been locked up like a dog alone thinking crazy and hateful all the time he was in prison. With your attitude I hope he moves next door to you so you can share your views all of incarcerated people Mr. Know NOthing At all.
Stelbell

Willow Springs, IL

#7 Jun 30, 2011
Ktownsista wrote:
<quoted text>
Amen. Its not like they got their by singing too loud in the choir!!
People are so quick to judge if it was your family member you would want some human kindness at least.
Stelbell

Willow Springs, IL

#8 Jun 30, 2011
concerned il citizen wrote:
Dont believe everything that's written about the treatment of the prisoners at the Tamms prison..they have it alot better than you think...if in doubt ask anyone who works there; they're not isolated..they hold conversations with their neighboring inmates, they're not stuck somewhere all alone, there's employees out among them all the time, they play chess with each other,the have tvs, they get magazines, books,etc...free meals, free medical/dental care which is something you or I cant even get. Alot of them even have alot of money in banks....with the State of Illinois in the shape it's in...why not charge them rent for each month that they are housed there and charge them a fee for all of the free services that taxpayers can't get...maybe then the state wouldn't be so broke after all!!!!
So have you been to Tamms No because if you had been you know they are locked away and cannot have contact of any kind and they do pay a small amount for dental care. The prison system is a business and Tamms is costing the state 4 times what normal prisons cost and for what to torture humans. What does that say about the society that we live and and people like you. No one is playing chess in there but with themselves. And the meals I give my dog better and the medical is not better so what are you saying you want a suite there you couldn't handle it anyway that't why you have to time to write about something you know nothing about.
Dawn

Paducah, KY

#9 Feb 26, 2012
Stelbell wrote:
<quoted text>So have you been to Tamms No because if you had been you know they are locked away and cannot have contact of any kind and they do pay a small amount for dental care. The prison system is a business and Tamms is costing the state 4 times what normal prisons cost and for what to torture humans. What does that say about the society that we live and and people like you. No one is playing chess in there but with themselves. And the meals I give my dog better and the medical is not better so what are you saying you want a suite there you couldn't handle it anyway that't why you have to time to write about something you know nothing about.
I work at Tamms - you have no clue what you are talking about. Your relative who told you this crap is a liar. Inmates at Tamms talk to other inmates & they play chess all the time. They call out there move to the cell below/above them & then that person calls his move back to that person & so on. They talk to other inmates in the wing constantly! These inmates pay $5.00 to see a doctor/nurse & their meds are free. When is the last time you went to see the doctor for $5 & got your meds for free? None of the men at Tamms are these because they were trying to prove that they were mistreated at other facilites - no matter what your relative may have told you. ALL of the inmates at Tamms are there because they raped/murdered/assaulted other inmates &/or staff at previous facilities where they were housed. Most of these inmates also attempted to escape from these other facilites. YOU are being lied to by a master manipulator - these are the kinds of people that are in Tamms. Maybe your relative shouldn't have committed the crimes that landed him in prion. Maybe he shouldn't have committed the crimes that earned him his way into Tamms. Want to talk about torture? I would love people like you to read the files of these "poor inmates" to see what they are really like. Talk to their victims & you'll see what the word 'toture' really means.
cassie

Portsmouth, UK

#10 Feb 27, 2012
Well said Dawn. Although what you say about the inmates may be true, I certainly dont agree with the isolation the men are in. I do know that to play chess, they have to scream out their moves, make their own chess boards, no games aloud in Tamms. They cannot even have a jigsaw to pass the time. To me, it smacks of third world conditions and these men are being driven insane without the touch of a human, a kiss from a mother etc.

Yes, they are criminals, and bad boys, but for God's sake, this is inhumane treatment. The sooner the place is shut down, the better.
MRS MAJOR

United States

#11 Feb 27, 2012
Hey Stelbell DID THEIR VICTIMS HAVE RIGHTS??? DID THEY HAVE A CHOICE???? U NEED TO GET A LIFE.... HOW WOULDU FEEL IF UR FAMILY MEMBER WAS MURDERED, RAPED TORTURED? MY FAMILY MEMBERS WORK THERE I KNOW A HELL OF A LOT MORE THAN THAN U DUMB F*CKS THINKS. TORTURE FAR FROM FROM IT. TAMMS IS FOR THE WORST.... THEY HAVE AND WILL ASSULT ANYONE AND DON'T GIVE A DAMN. B4 U OR ANY1 ELSE STARTS RUNNING UR MOUTH GET UR FACTS STRAIGHT. OH AND THEY DO EAT BETTER THAN ME AND MY FAMILY.OH IF U DON'T LIKE IT THEN MOVE TO CHICAGO WERE U CAN B TREATED LIKE A QUEEN/KING. HEY EVEN A BETTER IDEA.... MOVE 1 OF THEM N2 UR HOUSE AND C WHAT HAPPENS TO U AND UR LOVED 1'S. THEY DO HAVE MORE RIGHTS THAN WHAT ANY1 ON THE OUTSIDE DOES.
Oh my

United States

#12 Feb 28, 2012
The facility is needed but not the $100,000.00 a year high school engineers
really

Tamms, IL

#13 Mar 2, 2012
Seriously how has this supermax prison helped the little town of Tamms? I was just at the little store in town and then drove around the town its so sad. I was here about 12 years ago all I can say is, its so sad
No Clue

Herrin, IL

#14 Mar 29, 2012
The inmates can buy chess sets and cards,some do make their own only because they want to. If the people that are so against Tamms really knew what they were talking about they might be smart. The one that have family at Tamms usually are members of the same gang and most have been locked up also. It makes me sick when they talk about how bad the inmates are treated, most are treated very good. Give respect, get respect.
Anonymous

United States

#15 Apr 1, 2012
Stelbell wrote:
People are so quick to judge. Unless you been to Tamms or know someone in there shut up because you don't have a clue. It is deplorable and everyone that thinks that everyone in prison never was a tax paying citizen are idiots. And another point I would like to make is what do we need court system for if we want to through people in holes and let them rot. Tamms cost 60,000 per prisoner and usually it's 18,000 per prisoner I as a tax paying citizen says stop paying the extra money to torture people when the state is broke. Some people go to Tamms because they fight for prison rights or complain too much or are targeted for being whistle blowers and everyone incarcerated are people and should be treated like humans at least and they do have to pay for dental maybe not a lot but what the hell Illinois and all the other states are making money off of prisons it's a business you idiots. It's suppose to be rehabilitation, do you want to live next door to someone who may have been in a bar fight and killed someone in self defense and is incarcerated in Tamms and been locked up like a dog alone thinking crazy and hateful all the time he was in prison. With your attitude I hope he moves next door to you so you can share your views all of incarcerated people Mr. Know NOthing At all.
even if it was self defence there are was to stop bar fights and what about the people who he killed they will never see family agen and the guy who did its gets 3 meals a day a bed tv and yard time i think the guy in the ground got ripped off dont u
Big Jake

Lake Villa, IL

#16 Apr 1, 2012
pink01 wrote:
<quoted text> even if it was self defence there are was to stop bar fights and what about the people who he killed they will never see family agen and the guy who did its gets 3 meals a day a bed tv and yard time i think the guy in the ground got ripped off dont u
Put the Bleeding Hearts in a cell with one of them for 24 hrs.It will cure what ails them and cause what dont.Misfits have to be separated from the rest of society at what ever cost.I reside in a monastery for this very reason
Oh my

Searcy, AR

#17 Apr 2, 2012
Well mr forby and mr phelps demonstrated there loyalty by both being Harrisburg today, tic toc tic toc
Ray

Tupelo, MS

#18 May 7, 2012
supermax in Tamms was put in place too house the states worst criminals. I think too many liberal idiots out there need to realize that your not dealing with your everyday people. They are killers and rapist who have caused alot of pain and suffering too alot of innocent people. they are worst than animals and i think they get off too easy. I say put them down and stop making taxpayers pay for a wothless cause.
Dusk

Wheaton, IL

#19 Oct 17, 2012
Dawn wrote:
<quoted text>
I work at Tamms - you have no clue what you are talking about. Your relative who told you this crap is a liar. Inmates at Tamms talk to other inmates & they play chess all the time. They call out there move to the cell below/above them & then that person calls his move back to that person & so on. They talk to other inmates in the wing constantly! These inmates pay $5.00 to see a doctor/nurse & their meds are free. When is the last time you went to see the doctor for $5 & got your meds for free? None of the men at Tamms are these because they were trying to prove that they were mistreated at other facilites - no matter what your relative may have told you. ALL of the inmates at Tamms are there because they raped/murdered/assaulted other inmates &/or staff at previous facilities where they were housed. Most of these inmates also attempted to escape from these other facilites. YOU are being lied to by a master manipulator - these are the kinds of people that are in Tamms. Maybe your relative shouldn't have committed the crimes that landed him in prion. Maybe he shouldn't have committed the crimes that earned him his way into Tamms. Want to talk about torture? I would love people like you to read the files of these "poor inmates" to see what they are really like. Talk to their victims & you'll see what the word 'toture' really means.
So Dawnie, I guess your meal ticket is coming to an end.
Mom of 2

United States

#20 Oct 18, 2012
Dusk wrote:
<quoted text>
So Dawnie, I guess your meal ticket is coming to an end.
If the f**kers wanted to have rights to play board games, eat "decent food" etc., they waited a little to long to think about all that shit! I say, TOO BAD SO SAD, they're getting what they asked for!

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