PI Original Adam Doster Wednesday September 9th, 2009, 12:34pm

Human Rights Watch Presses Quinn On Tamms

The pressure on the Quinn administration to reform the Tamms Correctional Center continues to grow. Yesterday, the U.S. director of Human Rights Watch (HRW) sent a sharply worded letter to the governor, highlighting the investigative work of the Belleville News Democrat, ...

The pressure on the Quinn administration to reform the Tamms Correctional Center continues to grow. Yesterday, the U.S. director of Human Rights Watch (HRW) sent a sharply worded letter to the governor, highlighting the investigative work of the Belleville News Democrat, whose recent reporting buffeted concerns that no clear criteria exist for transferring inmates in and out of the supermax prison.

This is just the latest in a series of warnings from human rights organizations. In March and again in late August, Amnesty International voiced their own concerns about the psychological trauma experienced by Tamms inmates in solitary confinement. Locally, Tamms Year Ten has held a rally outside Chicago's Thompson Center and sent a letter to Quinn urging comprehensive reforms housed within HB 2633. (They're also throwing a fundraiser next week.)

Last Tuesday, the governor reiterated that he has commissioned Illinois Department of Corrections Director Michael Randle to look into the conditions at Tamms. But that progress has been slow. After all, Quinn appointed Randle back in May and gave him a clear mandate to assess the conditions. It's worth asking why that review is taking so long.

Below is the full text of the HRW letter (click the button in the upper righthand corner to expand):

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