Tag Archives: supermax

OH: State’s high-security prisons becoming more dangerous

From the article: “For the first 12 years of its existence, Toledo Correctional Institution was free of homicides. Then, in early 2012, the state implemented a program designed to make Ohio prisons safer. Since then, there have been two inmate-on-inmate murders and twice as many physical or sexual assaults.”

Read more here.

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IN: John Walker Lindh Wins Prison Prayer Lawsuit

This is interesting – most prison RLUIPA case judgments are weighted heavily on the side of prison officials and it’s pretty easy to see how allowing daily group prayer for inmates at this high security prison could present a concern.  However, the judge found that the restriction on daily prayer was unconstitutional, barring specific evidence that it would in fact present a security concern.

Read more here.

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WA: State prisons rethink solitary confinement

From the article: “Washington’s prisons are at the forefront of a new approach to solitary confinement, finding that a new focus on rehabilitation may calm some inmates’ behavior in prison and prevent violence once they are back on the street.”

Shocker.

Read more here.

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CA: Hundreds of California Prisoners Could be Transferred From Isolation Units Subject of Strike

From the article: “Hundreds of California prisoners locked in stark segregation units could be transferred to regular prison cells under new policies being developed by state corrections officials.  The transfers could include inmates who have been held for decades at Pelican Bay State Prison’s windowless Security Housing Unit, which was the center of two recent hunger strikes that drew participation from thousands of inmates.”

Read more here.

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IL: State prison closures get under way

From the article: “A mass migration of some of Illinois’ most dangerous criminals is under way as state officials began shutting down the Tamms Correctional Center and other prison facilities.”

Anytime you shut down a facility, you have disgruntled staff at both the closing facility and the receiving facilities, which are now more overcrowded, not to mention the effects of the disruption on the inmate population.  Especially for supermax/maximum facilities, each institution has a pecking order, with the gangs knowing their own hierarchy and their position in terms of numbers and strength relative to the other gangs.  There will be some repositioning that takes place at the receiving institutions, so expect assault and use of force numbers to spike.

Read more here.

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IL: Overtime costs at Tamms prison skyrocket

From the article: “The Tamms Correctional Center in Alexander County has 208 guards and supervisors in its maximum-security unit that houses 138 inmates. Yet state payroll records show that that security staff has clocked at least $884,000 in overtime over a one-year period ending Nov. 12, the Belleville News-Democrat reported.”

Read more here.
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CO: Supermax prison officials move to address mental health after lawsuit

From the article: “Officials at the highest-security federal prison in America have taken steps to address mental- health issues among the prison’s inmates, following a lawsuit that accuses the government of indifference.”

The lawsuit’s allegations included transferring inmates to the Supermax who were known to be mentally ill and then stopping treatment.  According to the suit, at least six inmates have killed themselves at the prison.

In response to the suit, prison staff added more mental health staff and increased information to inmates regarding mental health services.

Is it just me, or is it pretty much universally known at this point that housing mentally ill inmates in solitary confinement is not the best idea?

Read the article here.

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Illinois tames Tamms prison rules

According to the article, the Illinois prison director has changed security procedures to require fewer officers and fewer restraints during inmate movement.

More concerning, the article states that due to the transfer of the Tamms prisoners, the inmates in Pontiac, a maximum security institution, will have to double bunk in cells in isolation.  It goes (or should go) without saying that inmates with established records of disruptive behavior should not be bunking together for safety and security reasons.  The article states that within a day of the implementation of the bunking policy, two inmates caused a disturbance that required the use of pepper spray to quell.

Read the article here.

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