Illinois Governor Pat Quinn’s decision to shut down the Tamms Supermax Prison in southern Illinois is drawing praise from human rights groups.
The controversial prison was designed to hold prisoners in long-term solitary confinement. Activists criticize the lack of human contact and eliminating environmental stimuli. Many prisoners suffer from severe mental illness. Amnesty International’s Debra Erenberg says it good news for people who care about human rights.
But the closure will have a significant economic impact on southern Illinois. Over 300 jobs at the prison will be lost. Southern Illinois politicians are berating Governor Quinn for ignoring a proposed 8 million dollar plan to convert the lockup to a medium-security facility.