Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

April-06-12

Mothers Protest Inhumane Treatment of Sons in Supermax Prison

A group of mothers and sisters of inmates in an Illinois prison protested the conditions of the facility this week. Tamms Correctional Center in Chicago has been cited for inhumane treatment of its inmates, often locking them up for 24 hours a day with little or no breaks or interaction with others. Relatives were joined by past inmates of the prison and members of human rights advocacy groups for a press conference on Wednesday, following a legislative hearing on Governor Pat Quinn's plan to close the facility in order to save the state millions of dollars.

Showing support for this plan, family members spoke out about the inhumane treatment of inmates in the prison. One mother described her son's weight loss and slide into depression because of extreme isolation, while another spoke of her son's daily routine in order to stay active and sane, which involves walking in circles for hours around his windowless concrete cell. Many of the inmates in Tamms also have mental illnesses, on which solitary confinement is shown to have particularly damaging effects. Tens of thousands of the 2.3 million people currently incarcerated are forced into long-term solitary confinement within the U.S. prison system.

Patrice Warren, whose brother has been incarcerated in Tamms for over 6 years, said, "A lot of them are committing suicide. I don't want to lose my brother to the system like that."

According to a 2009 study by the Belleville News-Democrat, 54 Tamms inmates have been in solitary confinement for more than 10 years. The American Civil Liberties Union has called solitary confinement "inconsistent with human rights principles" and is calling for the closing of the Tamms facility.

The state commission is expected to make a decision on the prison's closure on May 11, though Quinn could close the facility regardless of its decision.

Media Resources: Chicago Times 4/5/12; Huffington Post 4/5/12; ACLU 4/2/12; CBS 4/4/12


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1. The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
 
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case. UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
 
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall. The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies. Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .