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Torture at Tamms

“The pattern of suicide, cutting, depression and hallucination at Gitmo and Abu Ghraib is repeated at Tamms,” Northwestern Professor Stephen Eisenman, author of the book “The Abu Ghraib Effect,” tells the Belleville News-Democrat.

An investigative series in the News-Democrat recently found that 54 prisoners at the Illinois supermax prison in downstate Tamms have been held in continuous solitary confinement for at least ten years, including 39 held there since it opened in 1998.  The paper found large disparities in the reasons for transfer to the supermax.

“Prolonged isolation creates severe mental illness and suffering, and therefore must be considered a form of torture,” Eisenman said.

Members of 70 community organization, spearheaded by Tamms Year Ten, are calling Governor Pat Quinn today to demand limits on long-term isolation and transfers for inmates with severe mental illness.

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Category: prisons, torture

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