Skip to main content

Supermax Showdown

Update: On December 19, an Alexander County judge lifted the injunction blocking the closure of Tamms and six other state facilities. Illinois prison officials began transferring inmates out of the facilities following this move, which was taken on an earlier order from the Illinois Supreme Court. The facilities are scheduled to close by January 4. The judge did not dismiss AFSCME Local Council 31's underlying lawsuit, however, and the union said in a statement on the closings that “AFSCME will be able to continue to seek a legal remedy that addresses the dangerous conditions that the closures will cause throughout the prison system.” 

“I am a mom,” read dozens of signs lofted by protesters outside Illinois’ Tamms Correctional Center last spring. Many of the demonstrators were family members of the prison’s 100-plus inmates who are held in 23-hour-a-day isolation. But the slogan—an allusion to AFSCME’s famous 1968 “I am a man” campaign for striking sanitation workers in Memphis—was also seeking to shame the union that once marched alongside Martin Luther King Jr., for its current fight to keep the supermax prison open.

In June 2012, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn announced that Tamms and five other state correctional facilities would be shuttered that August to help fill the state’s $43.8 billion budget deficit. But all have remained open thanks to a lawsuit filed by AFSCME Local Council 31, which represents guards and other workers at the prison. A bruising fight has followed between a union trying to preserve its members’ jobs and activists insisting that the labor movement must draw the line at supporting the prison industry’s cruelest facilities.

Read on...


Popular posts from this blog

Four Ways 3D Printing May Threaten Security
"3D printers already produce everything from prosthetic hands and engine parts to basketball shoes and fancy chocolates. But as with any technological advance, new possibilities come with new perils.​​​​​​​
A new RAND paper, Additive Manufacturing in 2040: Powerful Enabler, Disruptive Threat, explores how 3D printers will affect personal, national, and international security. The paper is part of RAND's Security 2040 initiative, which looks over the horizon to anticipate future threats.
The same technology that might one day custom-print heart valves can just as easily produce gun parts. The same machines that allow astronauts on the international space station to print their own tools might also help a state like North Korea print military or industrial equipment to get around international sanctions...."

They May Cause Harm

by digby

Here's a great article on the use of tasers and what's becoming an important part of the debate --- the fact that they are killing people with them:

On a balmy fall night, two police officers in a squad car in east Bradenton spotted a man on a bicycle without a headlight.

Derrick Humbert, 38, rode a bike around town because seizures from a head injury prevented him from driving. He worked odd jobs as a short-order cook and gardener. He took care of his three kids, 2, 8 and 11, while their mother worked the evening shift at a 7-Eleven.

On this Monday in late September, he was riding home from a convenience store just after midnight when police told him to stop.

Instead, he pedaled around a corner past three houses, jumped off the bike and ran into a yard, the two officers chasing him on foot.

Read on...

The Way of The Gun

Iconic characters from crime fiction's most popular writers reflect on their tools of the trade.

JOE PIKE, BusinessmanGUN: KIMBER CUSTOM II MODEL 1911 .45 ACP“The best semiautomatic combat pistol made. The lowered ejector port, full-length guide rail, beveled magazine well and superb tolerances give outstanding out-of-the-box accuracy and reliability. The big .45 ACP bullet is heavy and slow, but that’s what you want. A lighter, faster bullet will punch through a man, carrying its energy with it. A .45 hollowpoint flattens and dumps its energy into the target like a truck T-boning a Prius. You don’t need to double-tap with the .45. One shot will knock a big man off his feet. LAPD SWAT uses the Kimber. USMC Special Operations Command (Force Recon) uses it. I use it. That’s all you need to know.”WRITER: ROBERT CRAISRead on...