Courts & Crime

View from the top: Fixing Tamms supermax

Michael Randle was appointed in June by Gov. Patrick Quinn to be the new director of the Illinois Department of Corrections. Born in Chicago, he spent 19 years working in the Ohio prison system, where he started as a social worker, worked as a warden at several prisons and left as the deputy director. The News-Democrat interviewed him on June 17:

Q -- You were brought in and asked by Gov. Pat Quinn to pay special attention to the Tamms supermax prison.

A -- That is correct. One of his priorities for me as the new director was to take a comprehensive look at the operations at Tamms, make recommendations to him, based on my review, of anything that I felt that needed to be changed operationally at that facility.

Q -- Do you think that holding a person at Tamms for 10 or more years in solitary confinement is cruel, and does that lead to mental illness in your opinion?

A -- If I could preface that, I did my second day on the job about eight hours at Tamms.

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Read the complete series at series "Trapped in Tamms."