Tamms Year Ten

The Year Ten Campaign

This site will no longer be updated, please check YearTen.org for updates from the Tamms Year Ten Campaign.

In 1998, the first prisoners were transferred from prisons across the state to Tamms CMAX, in Southern Illinois. This new “supermax” prison, designed to keep all inmates in solitary confinement, was only intended for short-term incarceration. Now, ten years later, many of the original prisoners have been there for a decade.

Solitary confinement and sensory deprivation cause severe mental and physical distress even in healthy people isolated for short periods. Doctors and psychologists have described prolonged solitary confinement as torture, and the United Nations Committee Against Torture and numerous human rights groups have condemned the practice.

Year Ten is a coalition of prisoners, ex-prisoners, families and concerned citizens who have come together to protest the misguided and inhumane policies at Tamms. We have initiated a program of cultural, educational and political events to publicize Tamms C-MAX on the anniversary of its opening.

We will also have legislative hearings about Tamms C-MAX before the Prison Reform Committee of the Illinois House on April 28, 2008. But our legislators can only act in response to public demands and protests. We urge you to participate in our upcoming Year Ten events, and become a part of the ongoing efforts achieve humane treatment for the men at Tamms. We need your voice and your action.


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