Additional Prisoners Transferred from Tamms
By Candice Freeland
TAMMS, IL - Seven inmates were reportedly transferred Thursday morning from Tamms Supermax Prison to Pontiac Correctional Center, in an effort to have inmates out of the facility by August 31, the date Governor Quinn has set for the prison to close.
But at least one person has some concerns about the way the transfer was conducted.
Kirk Dutton is Vice-President of AFSCME Local 2758 at Tamms. He says the inmates left around 9 am in the same vehicle Thursday, which Dutton says is against correction policy. One of the inmates allegedly had a psychotic episode Wednesday and was put on mental health watch, but he was transferred with the others Thursday with out having a psychiatric evaluation.
"That inmate, without even seeing a mental health professional, at 7:00 this morning was removed from that watch. Without a mental health evaluation or anything, so they could hurry up and get him transported up there. Without regard to, you know, sometimes you put your hands on these guys, they just go crazy."
Dutton says the state needs to "just slow down and think this thing through" instead of rushing to close the prison.
Governor Pat Quinn has indicated that one reason for the Tamms closure is that the prison isn't fully housed by inmates, making it essentially under-used. But Dutton says part of the original plan for the prison was to have a number of empty beds ready when inmates from other facilities become difficult to control, such as in the case of a riot or a prison assault.
Late Thursday afternoon the AFSCME filed suit in Alexander County against the state, hoping to at least delay the Tamms closure, if not stop it all together.