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  #1  
Old 10-02-2005, 07:59 AM
BlueEyes01 BlueEyes01 is offline
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Default Tamms, Supermax

I have two very special pals in Tamms, I cannot believe how awful this prison is, and how they are treated. Is this the USA?? its so inhumane, and when i get a letter describing the conditions, it makes me so angry. These guys are suppose to be the worst of the worse, so far I havent seen that with my two pals, these guys are locked down 2 hours a day, and some are not so fortunate to have a radio or a tv.

I dont know how i would even survive in a situation like that, i think I may go crazy???

Do any of you have a loved one at Tamms, and how does he cope, in a place like that??? I am trying to think of ways to keep them both sane, I am sending books and crosswords..do any of you play games with them through the mail?? Im kind of afraid to because they may see it as contraband, a hidden message code, or something bizarre.

when you write letter, you cant even have a mark on the paper, or they will send it back. I am so paranoid when i write a letter, just to make sure I dont get any marks on the page..geesh.

Im sure others feel just as fustrated as I do???
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Old 10-02-2005, 02:31 PM
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Dana, I've had my share of mail sent back. I had a yahoo banner get wet in the rain from something I printed off. It upsets William more than myself now. I cut the banner off and sent it back. It's been kind of a learning process. I would refer to my "son" and visiting him, or other advocacy and they were suspicious. I called the mail room once and she was reading to me what I wrote! I try to remember not even use the first name of another inmate. I'll say I visited my son, not I visited C.
It is not the crimes they did to get them in prison that lands them in TAmms, but what they did in prison. I pushed Wm, my penpal of 16 months a bit who is there about what he did to get there and he said " a bunch of dumb Sh*t". Remember many of these men went into prison as teen agers and were very angry about many things. They also feel they have to be tough or be victimized. They get angry at the staff, sometimes deservedly, some times not. I was moved by an ad by my penpal at tamms, when I was helping someone post an ad. I told him I couldn't write him more than twice a month or send him money. however, truth be told, I sent him money for a TV and a radio. I told him it was a "loan" and we joke about that. I pretty much write people without family support and he has none. I sent him the TV money because he is just out of his cell a couple hours a week. There is something new there, that they may be able to have walkmans. He's all excited about it. I told him I'd send $30 for his birthday and he sent me the order for pack central for tapes and said please send the MO with this order. I guess they can only have their tv set OR their cassette/radio. I think now they can have the TV and the walkman if that is approved. I'm not sure I understood right, but he was pretty darn excited about it. I can't afford to send money for TV's to others there, but have sent quite a few books there.
I'd have to reread back letters to remember, but a lot of these guys are doing seg time. I know William cannot leave Tamms til 90 days before he is to get out. He's been in prison since he was 15 years old. However, as their behavior improves, they get into a behavior program with incentives and he is at the top level of that. There are three levels.I'm proud of how well he is doing. They are angry and lonely there, and I truly believe that the support of someone who cares can turn things around for them so that their behavior and attitude changes, and then they will have less restrictions. I am sure the extended isolation is a test of their mental strength. I am hoping to visit there in a year or so. I can't imagine too many people with love and support end up at Tamms. I don't think any of them go there without a lot of problems with fighting with other inmates and /or attacking staff.
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Old 10-02-2005, 02:54 PM
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I have a pen pal in Tamms. He was on death row and had his sentence commuted to life. He is a gang member, that and doing drugs and drinking and selling drugs and alcohol on death row is what landed him in Tamms. He went to tamms in 1998 and his death sentence was commuted in 2003. He unfortunately will never get out. I visit when I can and write lots of letters. He has been in prison 20 years. He keeps his radio more than tv. Cet you are right my friend, they are SUPPOSED to be thinking about letting them have a walkman and a tv both. Victor says that "we will see" Cet this is not the first time this rumor has been around the mill. It circulated geeze about 5 months or so ago I think. I would have to look through my letters.
Dana check out the post I have titled Disgusted with the IDOC. Tamms is worse than I could have ever imagined.
I hope they shut this place down.
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Old 10-02-2005, 03:32 PM
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i used to have a pal at tamms, he was released and i havent heard from him . i know of several there that moved to every other illinois joint and thats where they ended up. they says its the worst of the worst and thats why they keep them caged up like that , but hey even the worst of the worst deserve (( if that is the case at all )) some human kindness and compassion !!
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Old 10-03-2005, 01:12 AM
Rostonhall Rostonhall is offline
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Recently some Tamms inmates have been transferred out of there so there is a little hope!!

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Last edited by Rostonhall; 10-03-2005 at 01:14 AM..
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Old 10-03-2005, 03:51 AM
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Depending on their sentence, they do get out all the time. Lots of the guys are there because they are so disruptive when in an ordinary prison and they cause a lot of problems being with other inmates. The behaviour programme helps them to learn to socialize, so I am told. There are guys there that they don't know what to do with, don't know where else to put them, for a variety of reasons. My own friend there has been in solitary confinement for 4 years, which is an awful situation. It is a wonder more don't come out of there with worse problems than they were put in there for. Being in solitary has proven to give people severe mental problems.
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Old 10-03-2005, 07:58 AM
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I assume we all know what an institutionalized mind is. (Where prison is basially the only life some know and can handle mentally. )Here is a very scary thought. My pen pal told me that he had some of his pals transfer from Tamms not long ago. Many are now back. These guys told him they are glad to be back at Tamms! He says they are crazy and I agree with him!
Tamms mail room loves to play games ladies. I hate to tell you. My pen pal had a lutenient to ask him to privately talk to him. Victor said no because that could only mean trouble, ie., sex, drugs, or murder, (2 counts murder is why he is in prison and drugs, gang, and alcohol brought him to Tamms) anyway, now that lutenient is head of the mail room. So you can imagine what they do to our mail and all his mail. We get letters out of sinc. His mom lives 45 minutes away from him and it took 10 days for him to get a card from her. That is crazy. I can get a letter dated from him and sent out the same day to the mail room and they wont send it out from the mail room for 4 or 5 days sometimes. It is nuts. Sometimes when they cut through my letters to check them, he said they have sliced them in 6 peices. I send him post cards and they rip the part of the card off with the stamp. The whole corner of the card! I was supposed to visit him 10/08, and he said he has no visitors that day. I got a letter this morning denying me because they said he has a visit that day. I have to drive 347 miles one way to see him. I am hot and I plan on calling them shortly. His mom might have for some reason decided to use that day but I doubt it.
They can not have visitors who have arresst records either. His friend was arressted a year ago and served time in another state even and was denied because of his arresst record.
So Tamms really is messed up.
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Old 10-03-2005, 07:58 AM
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My one pal has been in there for five years, he has said most are supposed to be sent some where when they see that they are representing good behavior, when they are no longer a problem, its suppose to be a temporary thing, not permanent. he told me of a lawsuit that is coming up, and if it is favorable he will be removed from there, i certainly hope so.
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Old 10-03-2005, 11:18 AM
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Oh Dana I hope so too. Again with the mail room garbage. My pen pal tried to send me a ruling out of Iowa (in USA Today paper) about supermax prisons where they ruled inmates can not be held in a supermax over a year. It passed this year. I never got it. He said in a letter he was enclosing it. I asked him on our last visit if he sent it in that letter he said yes. The mail room confiscated it! They do not want anyone to know how wrong those places are! He unfortunately is never getting out no matter where he is. The only 2 good things I can think of at Tamms is that it is kept a nice 70 degrees farenheit there year round and that it is very hard for inmates to fight because they are never alone together. Other than that, that is all I can say good about it. He had a hard time getting a jacket last year and told me the first 5 years he was there they had no jackets at all!
Here is a lovely peice I wrote back in May for those of you who have not seen it or could not open it. I have not spoken to anyone there yet about these conditions though.
Disgusted with the IDOC
I found out that not only does Tamms Supermaximum Prison have Black Widow Spiders and Brown Recluses ( both deadly poison,), it also has mice. Apparently my pen pal finds it amusing as he feeds the mice peanut butter! I guess it is better than them eating the humans. I however am NOT amused. This prison is only 7 years old!
He also said one night it rained, and the next morning at 4:30 when his breakfast tray came he stood up and heard crunching. Bugs! Hundreds of them were on the floor. They washed in from the rain!
This is just too much.
They spray for the bugs, but he said it does not kill spiders.
I plan on writing to the IDOC, but not until after I cool off a bit as I might say something that will get me into alot of hot water. That is what I think of the IDOC.
Maybe when a gaurd gets bitten by a black widow or a child visiting a father there gets bit and one dies, they will wake up, but I doubt it.
My pen pal had spiders for Pets up until May! He says he stopped it because I was afraid for him but I doubt it. lol I know him too well. Pacifye me is what he was doing I'd say.
Well all take care
Peace love light and laughter
Valorie
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Old 10-03-2005, 11:27 AM
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I hear you Valorie!!! Last week my PP sent me a letter about the meals, let me tell you i was sick and had to throw my lunch out. ( I was reading his letter as I ate my lunch at work) Breakfast he said there were little bugs in his cereal, and the milk carton is all brown and (and something else he cant describe at the bottom of the carton) Because they dont rotate the darn milks, they go rotten or sour, his chicken was all red inside, he says if something is wrong with the meals its three strikes your out, you starve.
How can they serve meat like that?? he said the meat loaf for lunch he didnt even touch because it was all different colors. What the heck is wrong with these people?? animals in shelters get fed better. I better stop, because i could go on. I wish there was something I could do.

I believe about that article you said, they will confiscate anything, they want to keep everyone in the dark. I worry about my pal getting really sick from that food, and he said the water runs brown at times. thats because Tamms is sitting basically on a swamp.
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Old 10-03-2005, 11:50 AM
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OOhhh And I forgot to mention that MAIL is awhole differentissue what normally would take one week takes 12 days to reach him, and myself also.
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Old 10-03-2005, 12:02 PM
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My pen pal is Buddhist so he is vegetarian. He only drinks soy milk so he does not have to worry about the milk. He has told me about some of the problems with some of his food though at times.
Dana the mail situation stinks. I wish there was something we could do about it.
Take care
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