Ill. Senate passes bill to study reopening Tamms Correctional Center as minimum security facility

Ill. Senate passes bill to study reopening Tamms Correctional Center as minimum security facility
A bill supported in the Illinois House would appoint a task force to look into reopening the Tamms Correctional Center as a minimum security facility.

TAMMS, IL (KFVS) - A bill supported in the Illinois House would study the reopening of the Tamms Correctional Center.

House Bill 210 would create a task force to study the reopening and repurposing of the correctional center.

The Illinois Senate unanimously passed the bill Thursday, May 23. It was also unanimously approved in the House.

House Bill 210 now advances to Governor JB Pritzker’s desk.

Employees of the Tamms Correctional Center started getting pink slips in May 2012, with the last of the inmates transferred out by January 2013. At the time, residents called it a “devastating blow” economically to the village of less than 800.

“There are powerful forces that closed the super max, and I want everyone to know that this Task Force will not be studying reopening the super max,” Representative Terri Bryant said.

Reps. Bryant and Patrick Windhorst sponsored the bill.

Bryant said the Tamms Minimum Security Task Force would be made up of two members of the House and Senate, the Director of Corrections, a representative of AFSCME, an appointee of the president of Shawnee Community College, an appointee of the president of Southern Illinois University, the mayor of Tamms and a member of the Alexander County Board.

Rep. Windhorst said the task force would study the possibility of reopening the facility, its cost and the economic impact the action could have.

“The goal of the task force will be to study the regional impact that the facility closures had on Southern Illinois, and to study the feasibility of reopening the shuttered minimum-security facility,” Windhorst said. “Reopening Tamms’ minimum-security facility could help alleviate overcrowding, make our correctional officers safer, and provide good paying jobs to an area that has been economically devastated.”

Copyright 2019 KFVS. All rights reserved.