Tamms Supermax Prison

Tamms Correctional Center

The Tamms Correctional Center closed in 2013 by then Governor Pat Quinn due to budget cuts.

Representative Terri Bryant introduced a bill that was passed to turn it into a workcamp.


A bill to repurpose a portion of the shuttered Tamms Correctional Center is moving to the governor's desk.

The bill's sponsor, Murphysboro State Representative Terri Bryant, said the measure creates the Tamms Minimum Security Unit Task Force.

A shuttered southern Illinois prison is infested with mold, dimming area residents' hopes it may someday reopen.


Although Marsha Griffin did not win her race for the 115th Illinois House district seat, she will continue to be an activist.

The Jonesboro woman has been a strong advocate for the re-opening of the Tamms Correctional Center since its closing nearly six years ago.

A bipartisan group of Illinois legislators has introduced a bill that would reinstate the death penalty for convicted mass murderers and killers of first responders.

Southern Illinois Democratic State Rep. Jerry Costello helped craft the bill. He says the death penalty is the ultimate crime deterrent.

A southern Illinois lawmaker says the recent attack on prison guards at Pontiac Correctional Center serves to highlight the short-sighted decision to close a prison in Alexander County.

State Representative Brandon Phelps is urging Governor-elect Bruce Rauner to re-open the Tamms Correctional Center and the Illinois Youth Center in Murphysboro.

A southern Illinois woman is not giving up in her effort to get the Tamms Correctional Center reopened.

Tamms Rally Planned

May 9, 2014
Reopen Tamms Correctional Ceneter

A Union County woman's public crusade to reopen the Tamms Correctional Center continues this weekend.

Reopen Tamms Correctional Ceneter

A Union County woman is leading the charge to convince state leaders to reopen the Tamms Correctional Center.


Illinois prisons at Pontiac, Sheridan and Stateville have more guards on rotation. The Departments of Corrections says most of the employees who had been working at the now closed Dwight correctional center started new jobs Monday.


The warden at the maximum-security prison in Pontiac says there have been no problems or violent incidents with inmates shipped in from the now-closed Tamms Correctional Center.

Illinois Prisons: Crowding

Mar 26, 2013

The agency that runs Illinois prisons has more inmates than it has room for.

Illinois Prisons: Going Home

Mar 25, 2013
Prison Overcrowding

Illinois Public Radio’s Robert Wildeboer has been reporting for months about Illinois prisons, both from the inside and the outside.


Former Illinois prison wardens have reservations about the state's handling of the inmate population.

Inmates at the Shawnee Correctional Center and five other state prisons will be bunking in gyms in the coming weeks as part of the state’s ongoing struggle with overcrowding.

According to a letter Thursday from the Department of Corrections to the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees union the state will be setting up temporary bed space at the prisons in Vienna, Vandalia, Centralia, Danville, Canton and Hillsboro. Corrections spokeswoman Stacey Solano says the gymnasiums at the six prisons will be used temporarily for minimum security inmates.

A Union County woman is continuing her grassroots effort to make sure Illinois' correctional officers are kept in people's prayers.

Marsha Griffin of Jonesboro has already hosted two prayer rallies for correctional officers – and for southern Illinois as a region.  Now, she has created a Facebook page called My Brother's Keeper. Griffin says it's meant to be a place for people to pray for the safety of prison guards and their families.


A prison inmate found dead in his cell at Menard Correctional Center has been identified.

Facebook photo

A spokesman for Illinois' prisoner workers union says closure of the state correctional facility in Dwight is at least a couple months off.


The era of Illinois' Tamms "supermax" prison ended Friday as the last five inmates housed there were packed up and moved.


Illinois prison officials are moving quickly to empty correctional facilities that are slated to be closed.

Department of Corrections spokeswoman Stacey Solano says 124 inmates have been moved from the high-security Tamms prison since Thursday. The inmates, who've been called "the worst of the worst," are moving to the maximum-security Pontiac prison.  Twelve inmates remain at the state's "supermax" and 48 in Tamms' minimum-security unit.  Solano says all residents also have been moved out of three halfway houses, including the Glass House in Carbondale. targeted for closing.


An Alexander County judge has dissolved the injunction stopping the closure of the Tamms Supermax prison and other state facilities.

The circuit court judge's action came Wednesday.  Last week, the Illinois supreme ordered that the injunction be lifted.   A lawsuit by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees delayed the closures.  An AFSCME spokesman said Wednesday night that the closures make the remaining prisons "more dangerous for employees, inmates and the public."


The Illinois Supreme Court is siding with Governor Pat Quinn in his effort to close the Tamms Supermax prison and other correctional facilities.

In a split decision Tuesday, the justices ordered the withdrawal of a preliminary injunction that had stopped Quinn from making the closures.    Quinn had planned to close prisons in Tamms, Dwight, the Illinois Youth Center in Murphysboro, the Glass House transition center in Carbondale and others elsewhere since August in an effort to save money.        

Now that his veto of funding for prisons has been affirmed, the governor is planning to ask a judge this week for permission to close for facilities.

A judge in Alexander County issued an injunction preventing the Department of Corrections from closing Tamms, Dwight, and the youth facilities at Murphysboro and Joliet, but Gov. Pat Quinn now wants to resume emptying them.

Governor Pat Quinn's budget cuts that will force the closure of the Tamms Supermax prison and other state facilities will stand.        


The Prison employees union is responding to overtime reports at Tamms Correctional Center.   

The American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees is holding a news conference Wednesday morning in Cairo.  A newspaper report says the Tamms Supermax Prison paid out almost a million dollars in overtime to its security staff in the past year.

Community leaders from southern Illinois plan to rally at the state capitol this week in Springfield.

Google Earth

A two-hour tour of the Vienna Correctional Center Friday offered journalists from around the state a glimpse at the minimum security facility. 

Governor Pat Quinn in August argued state prisons were off limits to the media because of a security risk. But in October he abandoned that effort.


The Illinois Senate has voted to restore Governor Pat Quinn's budget cuts that would force the closure of prisons and other state facilities.

The Senate voted 35-16 to reject cuts of $56 million to funds for the Tamms Supermax Prison, the Illinois Youth Center in Murphysboro, the Glass House adult transition center in Carbondale and other sites.
The measure moves to the House. If the House approves it, Quinn wouldn't be forced to spend the money on the facilities. But it would prohibit the governor from spending the cash on anything else.

Google Earth

Members of Illinois media organizations have been invited to tour the Vienna Correctional Center in southern Illinois.

The Illinois Department of Corrections sent the invitation Friday. It comes as Gov. Pat Quinn appeared to be backing away from his position that media visits to Illinois prisons are a security risk. The Vienna tour is scheduled for November 30th. Prison officials have said the tours will consider the safety and security of staff, inmates and visitors.