Bryant hopes to reopen Tamms as state representative - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Bryant hopes to reopen Tamms as state representative

ALEXANDER COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - Republican Terri Bryant beat out former Jackson County Sheriff Bill Kilquist on Tuesday for state representative in the 115th District.

It hasn't even been 24 hours since Bryant's name was announced as the winner, but she already has some ideas up her sleeve.

One of those ideas includes taking on Tamms' Supermax Prison.

Terri Bryant said reopening Tamms Prison in Alexander County would create more jobs and improve the safety of inmates and those working inside the facility.

However, Bryant said she doesn't see the future of the building as a "supermax" prison like it was, but rather a transitional facility for misbehaved inmates.

She said during her years of working inside the Pickneyville Correctional Center, she saw assaults all of the time between inmates and guards.

“The things I think that I can do is show that I actually have knowledge about what goes on in the department. So, when we have conversations about why we have the need for Tamms, it goes a little bit further than what other legislators have been able to do. Nobody will be able to spin me when it comes to Tamms,” she said.

Bryant said there will be some changes though in the way the facility is run.

“It would be a facility that is a permanent segregation facility. Not inmates permanently in segregation, but a facility that is always for segregation and so if an inmate misbehaves in another facility and you need to get them separated you move them to that facility. They can earn their way out, they earn their way in, they earn their way out,” she said.

Bryant said every segregation unit has their own rules different from general population rules. So, the state can use the same rules at Tamms.

She said the idea will fix the overcrowding problem in prisons statewide.

Bryant also serves as a member of the Illinois Department of Corrections Religious Practices Advisory Board, which she said will help her in her effort.

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