Bryant making push to reopen Tamms

A change of guard in the Illinois Governor’s Office has renewed hopes concerning a prison that was shut down under Pat Quinn’s administration.

The Supermax Tamms Correctional Center was closed in January of 2013 and has sat vacant since.

“My heart was broken the day that facility was shut down,” said Marsha Griffin. “One thing throughout this process is I have never lost hope and I have always had the faith that someday that facility would reopen.”

After 20 years of working in the Illinois Department of Corrections newly elected State Representative Terri Bryant says she has similar dreams of reopening Tamms, which she says should have never closed.

“Tamms sitting empty has created such a growing need in segregation beds that it has not only causing problems for staff, but we also want our inmates to be safe, and we want the general public safe,” said Rep. Terri Bryant.

Bryant says Governor Elect Bruce Rauner supports the reopening of Tamms, but the question many have asked is where the funding would come from.

“There is money available, but we’ve got to identify that money and I’d like to see us do the forensic audit, and there is still some waste within some state agencies,” said Rep. Bryant.

“Just having it up and running in the capacity that it was meant too would mean the world,” said Griffin.

Bryant says she will use her knowledge of the Department of Corrections to get the discussion going in Springfield as soon as possible.

Illinois Department of Corrections spokesman Tom Shaer says there are currently no plans to reopen Tamms, but they constantly review all operations and use of the facility.

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