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State Politics Wed Jul 08 2009

Tamms Year Ten Protest at The Tribune Today

Let me start by saying I went to this being rather skeptical about the issue to say the least. Walking up to the protest I felt my skepticism would be well justified, looking at the pins some of these folks were wearing and some of the signs they were holding I was confident these were folks who felt all prisons were bad and that there was no reason to put someone into a limited access prison....

Yep, these folks would never be able to appeal to my Republican law and order sensabilities...

Then I made the mistake of talking with a couple of the protesters.

it turns out they were not against all prisons. I had quite the little discusion with one of them and she made some intelligent points about how keeping someone in Tamms as long as some of these folks are kept there doesn't do the state, prisoner or the correction system any good. Not sure if I agree with her, but they are legitimate questions that need to be asked.

I suspect on most issues we would disagree and I suspect their vision of incrasaration and corrections is different than mine.

But even from my perspective some questions come up. For what we spend on Tamms are we getting our money worth? Could the same thing be done on a smaller scale at an existing jail in the system? We have a tight budget right now is this really the best way for DOC to be spending money? Why are prisoners spending years at a jail that was not intended to be used for stays over a year? I think there is a need for a prison for the 'worst of the worst' but is this the most cost effective way to do it?

I think these are the sort of questions the Tribune should be looking at with even a quarter of the vigor they are going after the U of I with right now.


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bartelby / July 9, 2009 7:46 AM

Good questions! Here's another: What right has the state to put someone 24/7 in a concrete box for 10+ years, and literally drive him insane? We long ago eliminated thumb-screws and the stocks; why maintain this equally, (no worse, because of much longer duration) form of torture?

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