February 28, 2009

IF YOU MOVE THE TERRORISTS THERE IT'S TORTURE:

Illinois' highest-security prison a study in isolation: The state's most dangerous inmates live with sparse human contact, no jobs and little chance for education at Tamms. (Gary Marx, February 28, 2009, LA Times)

A few times a week, Joseph Dole stands in a back corner of the outdoor recreation area at Tamms Correctional Center, straining to catch a ray of sunlight.

"About four feet gets sun," said the rail-thin Dole, who is serving a life sentence for murder. "You can only get it if they call yard between 11 and 1. I just stand there. You feel warm, you feel refreshed."

Another murderer, Adolfo Rosario, said he hadn't shaken anyone's hand since his transfer to Tamms 11 years ago. "There is no contact at all, none," he said.

"The hardest part is the isolation," said Tyrone Dorn, serving time for carjacking. "It's like being buried alive."

The so-called supermax section of the prison was built in the 1990s to house Illinois' most dangerous inmates. Human-rights activists persistently criticize it. The long isolation of supermax prisons, opponents say, drives inmates to mental illness -- when the inmates aren't already ill.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 28, 2009 10:01 AM
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