Due to unforeseen complications, Lobby Day will not be this Wednesday, March 4. We'll post asap with the new date. Sorry for the inconvenience, and thanks for your support!


Come lobby in Springfield for HB2366!
7:00am-9:00pm (Dress nice!)
2638 W Division St. (there's plenty of non-permit parking on side streets in the neighborhood)


3/1–Saturday–10:30 AM. A talk on “Human Contact Deprivation”
Cynthia and ex-prisoners will speak about Tamms at Sacred Heart Church in Joliet.
Sacred Heart Parish, 337 S. Ottawa Street, Joliet IL 60436

3/3–Monday–4PM. Press conference and spoken-word event
Featuring Baba Griot and Richard Wallace!
Jane Addams Hull-House Museum
The University of Illinois at Chicago
800 S. Halsted (M/C 051), Chicago IL 60607-7017

3/8–Saturday–6:00-8:30PM. Letter-signing to Tamms prisoners and kick-off for Supermax Subscriptions with rare performance by Kent Lambert!
Mess Hall. 6932 N Glenwood Ave, Chicago 60626

Supermax Subscriptions is a collaboration between Temporary Services, Sarah Ross and the Tamms Poetry Committee to purchase magazines for supermax prisoners. Participants use their extra frequent flyer miles to purchase the magazines. Our first target is Tamms C-MAX.

We are kicking-off the Supermax Subscriptions project on the day of the ten-year anniversary of the opening of Tamms supermax prison. Together, we will sign letters to each man in Tamms C-MAX, asking them to pick their magazine preferences. Please join us--each handwritten signature will show them that someone on the outside knows and cares about their situation.

Watch this page (http://www.temporaryservices.org/supsub.html) to learn which Tamms prisoners will participate and how to send them gift subscriptions.

3/10–Monday–10PM. Chicago Peace Party at Danny’s
Benefit for Tamms Year Ten Campaign–half of bar proceeds go to our campaign.
Danny’s Bar. 1951 W Dickens Ave, Chicago IL 60614  

Once a month Danny's hosts a Peace Party to raise funds for a worthy cause. March's Peace Party will benefit Tamms Year Ten--half of bar proceeds go to our campaign.

Kent Lambert will be starting off the music at 10 PM with a short set of records that are in some way related to issues invoked by the Tamms anniversary. A few sad songs to start, but by the time the "real" (and totally excellent) Danny's DJs take over you can expect some proper party music.

3/15–Saturday–9PM. A Benefit For Tamms Year Ten
Featuring Elmore James Jr. and Rupert (Jaimie Branch/Marc Riordan/Toby Summerfield)
The Hideout. 1354 W. Wabansia Ave, Chicago IL 60622

We are proud to have the support of Elmore James Jr.--fantastic bluesman, slide guitar player and the son of Elmore James. Opening the show will be Rupert, a trio of three of Chicago's finest young musicians: trumpeter Jaimie Branch, drummer Marc Riordan, and guitarist Toby Summerfield. Toby's stunning 20-piece orchestra (which includes Jaimie & Mark) Never Enough Hope played last weekend, and we couldn't be more pleased that these three amazing players will be lending their talents to our cause. Former Tamms prisoners and family members of current Tamms prisoners will speak between sets. Matt Fields will DJ the Hideout's weekly dance party after the show.


Elmore James, Jr.incredible bluesman and slide guitar player with rousing, soulful Broomdusters band.
Rupert--a trio of Chicago's finest experimental jazz musicians: trumpeter Jaimie Branch, drummer Marc Riordan, and guitarist Toby Summerfield.


3/16—Sunday—2PM. The Tradeshow

A performance installation by Ann Heine, Erica Mott and Sheelah 
Murthy--presented by RATIO and Chicago Arts District
1915 S. Halsted St., Chicago IL 60608
(also performed on 3/14 at 2PM )
4/17–Thursday–6PM. Gene Siskel Film Center
“You Don’t Remember The Time You Do: Moments in the Lives of Prisoners”
Space Ghost by Laurie Jo Reynolds and In Loving Memory by Rob Todd.
164 N. State St., Chicago IL 60601


Prison has long been a popular setting for motion pictures, from the oft-remade Man in the Iron Mask to recent Oscar-nominated hits Dead Man Walking and The Shawshank Redemption. Rarer is the film that examines the prison system's complicated impact on individuals, families, and communities. Artists Laurie Jo Reynolds and Robert Todd take on this challenge in a pair of lyrical essays on the experiences of incarcerated men and women. Weaving together pop cultural imagery and prison phone conversations, Reynolds' collage-like SPACE GHOST (2007) explores confinement and isolation in the lives of astronauts and the imprisoned. Todd's IN LOVING MEMORY (2005) juxtaposes the reflections of prisoners on their lives with haunting landscape shots of prisons around the country, in a moving meditation on memory and a compelling critique of the death penalty.  Co-presented with the Campaign to End the Death Penalty.

4/19–Saturday9PM. Roommate’s We Were Enchanted record release show!
Featuring a song about supermax prison inspired by writing to men in Tamms C-MAX.
Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western Ave, Chicago IL 60622


4/20–Sundaynoon to 4PM. The Sewing Rebellion + Tamms Year Ten
Mess Hall, 6932 N. Glenwood, near Morse Stop on the Red Line
Radical Sewers will be an ally for human rights!  Sewing for the Tamms Year Ten Campaign!
As well as the usual sewing activities, The Sewing Rebellion will be producing hoods, patches and banners to be worn at the Tamms Year Ten public action on April 28 before the hearings of the House Prison Reform Committee. It doesn't matter if you know how to sew, you can come and help! We will also be stenciling!


4/24—Thursday—6 to 9PM
Friday—6 to 9PM

A performance installation by Ann Heine, Erica Mott and Sheelah 
Murthy--presented by RATIO and Chicago Arts District
1915 S. Halsted St., Chicago IL 60608
Also a Tamms Year Ten fundraiser!
Admission: $25 (food, drink and t-shirt included). Tickets may be purchased at

Visit our warehouse. A literal maze of consumer delights built by unseen hands. Experience the powerful force of invisible labor and unheard voices. Watch the unraveling and reconstruction of multiple stories. What is gained and what is lost in this cyclical exchange? Stay and browse a while. Bring something to swap. What will you end up wearing?

Juxtaposing, movement, text, video portraits and 500 lbs of used clothing, The TRADESHOW is an installation and durational performance experiment inviting Chicagoans to investigate the invisible forms of human suffering upon which our economies rest. Is it a party? Is it a factory? Will you step back or join the forces that be?

With humor and honesty, Mott and Murthy transform a gallery into a space of production, participation, storytelling and discovery. They invite their audience to participate through action, thought, dialogue and telling their own stories.

The work includes collaboration with other community-based organizations including the Howard Brown Health Center, Lakeview Learning Center ESL program, TAMMS Ten Year Campaign, and the Indo-American Center. Performers include Lisa Biggs, Hazel Brady-Filmore, Elisa Foshay, Brandon Hayes, Myrriah Henderson, Meenakshi Marchione, Cleo Ngiam, Coman Poon and Zoe Strong.

4/26–Saturday–11AM to 4PM. Freedom School Communiversity
All day education on the prison industrial complex.
Participants will learn about Tamms from ex-prisoners.
719 S. State St., Suite 3N, Chicago IL 60605

4/27–Sunday2PM to 6PM. Unseen-A-Thon
Take a stand for someone in solitary confinement—literally. Allow yourself to be warehoused in the walls of the gallery for a good cause—the Tamms Year Ten Campaign and International Rescue Committee. Come by the gallery for more information.
1915 S. Halsted St., Chicago IL 60608


House Prison Reform Committee of the Illinois General Assembly
James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph, Chicago IL 60601, Room 2-025, 10 am
Press event at 9:00 am in front of Thompson Center.
Press conference at 9:30 am before the hearings.

4/29–Tuesday–4PM to 5:30PM. Northwestern University lecture
Center for International and Comparative Studies series: “Torture in the Era of Democracy” Ex-prisoner Akkeem Berry and attorney Jean Maclean Snyder will speak about Tamms.
Northwestern University, BCSIS conference room
1902 Sheridan Road, Evanston IL 60208 (free parking behind the building)

6/14–Saturday–12:00. Puerto Rican Day Parade
Tamms Year Ten is marching in this awe-inspiring parade with our favorite people--the Saints of Humboldt Park. We are proud to be part of it, and we dedicate our participation to Anibal Santiago who has been in Tamms for ten years and is still maintaining and finding a way to help others.

6/16–Wednesday–4pm. Adler School of Professional Psychlogy Presentation
65 East Wacker Place  |  Suite 2100  |  Chicago, IL 60601-7298 
Jenny has organized a presentation about Tamms supermax prison and the Tamms Year Ten campaign.
6/19–Thursday–7:00 pm. Amnesty USA Forum on Police Accountability
3344 N Broadway Street, Chicago, IL
Broadway United Methodist Church
Tamms Year Ten is invited to this forum about police accountability to the LGBT community and beyond.  Recent developments in Chicago (including a new independent police oversight body and the city's bid for the 2016 Olympics) present an opportunity for exciting grassroots campaigning on torture and police accountability.  Afterwards we will participate in an interactive discussion about how to work together as to organize against torture and police abuse. 
6/22–Sunday–2pm-5pm. TY10 Meeting
Saints of Humboldt Park building
2638 W. Division St., Chicago IL 60622
(near Division and California)
This will be a campaign-wide discussion and training about our goals and our media message, and how to promote them effectively. We are so excited to have Gordon Mayer of Community Media Workshop and Chris Giovannis of Hammerhard Media leading this meeting. We need to all get on the same page with our strategy so we can communicate effectively about Tamms supermax prison and get this bill passed.
6/27–Friday–7pm. Film Screening of "Through the Wire"
2620 W. Division St., Chicago, IL 60622
The evening will include the showing of "Through the Wire" - a documentary of a women's control unit, featuring several female political prisoners. Speakers will include: Jan Susler of the People's Law Office and ex-Tamms prisoner Johnnie Walton. Join us to learn why prison control units need to be shut down, how they are a violation of human rights, and the experiences of the Puerto Rican political prisoners & social prisoners who spent time in these units.

7/26 –Saturday– 12 - 8 PM.  Southside Peace Fest
115th and Halsted, Chicago

Now is the time for the youth to come out and speak against the violence in our community. The Peace Festival is a celebration; a remembrance of life.  In an effort to heighten awareness on gun violence in our communities we are reaching out to the young community for their support. 

Supported by the entertainment community, this year will focus on creative expression through the form of entertainment and community-orientated programs to speak out against the epidemic in our communities.  Throughout the event their will be artist performances, a car show competition, a  3-on-3 basketball tournament and  much more.  

8/1 —Friday—6:30 PM. Tamms Letter Writing at Insight Arts
1545 W Morse, Chicago

Please join us to read and answer letters from prisoners from Tamms. We will also plan our next writing event, and hope to plan on a schedule of more frequent meetings. We will bring a page (front and back) of short poems to enclose with our letters, so please email any poems that you would like to see us include to YearTen@riseup.net.

Check out Insight Arts' other upcoming events

8/6 –Wednesday– 7:00 PM.
Throwing Away the Key
600 S. Michigan, Chicago

This year marks the anniversary of two notorious landmarks of Illinois corrections—it has been 30 years since the abolition of parole and 10 years since the opening of Tamms supermax prison. Now two House Bills have been introduced to restore some balance between punishment and rehabilitation.

Speakers will discuss the shattering impact of long-term sentencing laws, and the psychological and physical damage caused by prolonged solitary confinement. StillPoint Theater will present an excerpt from “Sisters Rising” in which ten formerly incarcerated women tell their story.

The event is held in anticipation of upcoming public hearings on HB 4154, the Elderly Prisoner Sentence Adjustment Act, and HB 6651, the Tamms Supermax Prison Reform Bill, and will be moderated by WVON talk radio host Cliff Kelley.

Illinois legislators
Reps. Eddie Washington, Art Turner, and Ken Dunkin
Dee Battaglia
the first female African-American warden of a maximum security prison
in the U.S. (Statesville)

Rev. Paul Ford
Justice/Witness Ministries, Covenant United Church of Christ
National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression
Tamms Year Ten
Citizens for Earned Release
Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media
John Howard Association of Illinois
Long Term Prisoner Policy Project
Families of Statesville
Statesville Speaks
Campaign to End the Death Penalty
Liberal Education Department, Columbia College Chicago
Critical Encounters Initiative, Columbia College Chicago

Media Advisory



 8/20 Wednesday10 AM. Prison Reform Committee Hearing on Elderly Sentence Adjustment Act
James R. Thompson Center, 16th floor, Room 503
100 W. Randolph Chicago IL 60601

If you are the family member of a long-term prisoner, or just believe in rehabilitation, support the Elderly Sentence Adjustment Act.  House Bill 4154 would give elderly prisoners who have served 25 years the chance to petition for a sentence adjustment.  If you don't show your support, how can you expect legislators to show theirs?

Friday, September 19th – 7PM: Mess Hall (6932 N Glenwood, right by Morse Red Line)

The Prison Poster Project is an artistic production that aims to expose how the prison industrial complex affects our diverse communities and to challenge current reliance on prisons as a solution to social problems. Over the past 5 years a collective of artists and activists on the outside and over 100 people in prison have collaborated to visually depict the multitude of issues facing the 2.3+million incarcerated people.

This workshop will be a narrative-picture-presentation taking participants through the historical roots of prisons, resistance to them and into the daily life of people living behind the razor wire. There are over 40 illustrations in this digital slide show which is narrated largely through transcriptions of prisoner’s writings.

Our mission is to create a public education tool that can be spread widely throughout the movement inside and outside of the walls. The first version of this of this project will be available in the form of a dvd and booklet at our workshops and soon on our website. Our presentation hopes to spark dialogue and debate, to understand and strategize, to motivate and inspire. We choose to use art because art makes knowledge accessible across age, race, class, gender and geographic lines. Through this project, we can amplify the voices of many that go unheard and generate visions of a more just and caring world.

for more info, prisonposterproject (at) gmail (dot) com

Roundtable discussion with legislators, Dept of Corrections, and Tamms Year Ten 
These negotiations are sponsored by Rep. Julie Hamos, sponsor of HB6651.
Bilandic Building, 160 N. LaSalle, across from the Thompson Center.
October 10, 2-4pm.

Fundraiser for Rep. Eddie Washington, Chair of the Prison Reform Committee

Exposure (Restaurant) 1313 S Wabash Ave, (312) 662-1082
5:30-8:30 p.m. Thurs. Oct. 9

Faith Summit for Criminal Justice Reform
People of faith in Illinois are calling for a justice system rooted in the principles of restoration, rehabilitation and healing. Be part of change. Join us!  Tamms Year 10 is planning on participating in this event. 

More details...

UIC Forum
Corner of Roosevelt and Halsted
Chicago, IL
Sunday, 10/5
1:30 PM-2:45 PM Resource Fair
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM Faith Summit

Chicago CR10 Report Back
Critical Resistance's 10th Anniversary conference is over, but we're not finished!

Imagining a World without Prisons - Healing our Communities

Chicago's Citywide Report Back on CR10
Called by the Chicago chapter of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (NAARPR) and sponsored by local organizations.

When: Saturday, Oct. 11th, 2008 2:00-4:00pm

Where: St. Martin's Episcopal Church - 5710 W. Midway Park

Join us to hear reports from an array of Chicago-area activists who attended CR10. Come out to share and learn about ways you can get involved and continue to support this work.

The Tamms Poetry Committee Needs You!

The Tamms Year Ten campaign (

http://www.yearten.org/) has been working
tirelessly to coordinate hearings on the dire conditions at Tamms Supermax
Prison in Southern Illinois, to pass House Bill 6651 (which would vastly
improve conditions at Tamms) & to drum up public support for the men being held
in these torturous conditions.

Members of the Tamms Poetry Committee, are meeting at the Mess Hall on Saturday
Oct 18th @ 7pm to coordinate a mailing to the men at Tamms to let them know
what's been going on & where things stand with the campaign. We'll also, of
course, send a new poem.  Come out and show your support to Tamms prisoners--
sign letters, lick envelopes, eat, drink and learn about recent Year Ten news.

What: Tamms Poetry Committee Meeting & Mailing

When: Saturday, Oct. 18, 7pm

Where: Mess Hall, 6932 North Glenwood Avenue Chicago, IL 60626
(@ the 'Morse' stop on the Redline in Roger’s Park)

What to bring: your most beautiful pen, snacks and drink

Send Holiday Cards to the Tamms Supermax Prisoners
This can be a terrible time of the year for someone in solitary confinement

Saturday 12/6, 10am-1pm
The People's Church, Progressive Community Center
56 E 48th St, Chicago

Come see us reenact moments from the legislative hearings, the visit to Tamms, and the Faith Summit!

WHEN: Friday, January 16, at 8pm. Be there early--the doors will close!


WHAT: A Tamms Year Ten performance coordinated by Laurie Jo Reynolds, Amy Partridge, Stephen F. Eisenman, and members of TY10.

WHO: Folks from the Tamms Year Ten campaign--we will be playing ourselves and other people.
WHY: To communicate to you, and to engage in reflective and non-goal-oriented social activity.
WHERE: Links Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield Avenue, Chicago, IL
THE GREAT QUESTION: Who will play the Illinois Department of Corrections?

Near Belmont or Addison red line, 2 blocks south of Wrigley Field.
This is NW of the six-point intersection of Sheffield, Clark and Newport.
It is not easy to find parking on Friday night so leave yourself time!

The Chicago Unlympic Games: Opening Day Ceremonies
Saturday, January 24, 6pm 
2129 North Rockwell
InCUBATE and person-in-residence Anne Elizabeth Moore, on behalf of the Unlympic Organizing Committee, are pleased to announce a series of competitive events called the Unlympics that will engage Chicago residents in active dialogue about the 2016 Olympic bid. Tamms Year Ten is one of the sponsors.

Campaign Wide Meeting

Saturday, January 31, 2009, 10am to 12:30pm
Progressive Community Center at The People's Church
56 E. 48th St., Chicago IL 60615

(plenty of parking, near 90/94 and Redline)

Prison Poster Opening on behalf of Tamms Year Ten
by the Just Seeds Collective
Sunday, February 1, 2009, 7pm to 9pm
Mess Hall
6932 North Glenwood Ave, Chicago IL 60626

('Morse' stop on the Redline )

Tamms Year Ten Campaign work meeting and letter-writing
Sunday, February 8, 2-5pm

People's Law
1180 N. Milwaukee
Chicago IL 60622

The Chicago Unlympic Games: Emotional Games
Saturday, February 14, 7pm
No Coast, 1500 W 17th Street 
This special event "Torture Breaks My Heart" is sponsored by Tamms Year Ten and will feature games and motivational speeches by Laurie Jo Reynolds, Stephen F. Eisenman and an ex-prisoner from Tamms, and Julien Ball from the Campaign to End the Death Penalty. Competitors and spectators will be offered the opportunity to send Valentines to prisoners and legislators.

SF8 Chicago Schedule for February 13-15

Friday February 13
 * 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Jane Addams Hull House, 800 S. Halsted (behind the museum)
 * 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. DePaul University, Student Center/main building, 2250 N. Sheffield Ave.
Saturday February 14
 * 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Center for Inner City Studies, 700 E. Oakwood Blvd., sponsored by Black People Against Police Torture, co-sponsored by the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists,
with Cliff Kelley as moderator
 * 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Que Ondée Sola and Radio Batey interviews
 * 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Batey Urbano, 2620 W. Division, sponsored by National Boricua Human Rights Network and Tamms Year Ten: 6:00 to 7:00 SF8 presentation, to be introduced by one brief speaker from each of the two sponsors; 7:00 to 9:00 Crime Against Humanity play followed by Q&A to include SF8 speakers. 
Sunday February 15
 * 12:00 noon Mess Hall, 6932 N. Glenwood, brunch
 * 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., Trinity United Church of Christ, 400 W. 95th St.

The San Francisco 8 (SF8) is a group of Black men who dedicated themselves to working for the protection and improvement of their community. Most of them were members of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense in the 60s and 70s. In January 2007 they were framed and wrongfully charged with a conspiracy alleged to have existed between 1968 and 1973, and the killing of a police officer that occurred in 1971. In 2003 the case was re-opened and the men were subpoenaed to a series of grand juries. In 2005 they asserted their Constitutional right to refuse to testify and were jailed for civil contempt. Upon their release, they founded the Committee for the Defense of Human Rights (CDHR) to publicize the human rights abuses perpetrated by government agents.


For details go to www.chicagosf8.com

February 18, 6:30-8:00pm
“Space Ghost” (26 min, 2007) by Laurie Jo Reynolds +  guest speakers respond + release party for Stateville Speaks Loyola Edition
Crown Center Auditorium, Loyola University, Lakeshore Campus
How could an avant-garde video comparing the lives of astronauts and prisoners address the condition of long-term incarceration? Find out. Also, learn about current prison conditions in Illinois, and hear from Loyola students about producing the January edition of Stateville Speaks, a publication written in collaboration with Illinois prisoners.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 1pm rally 
(and at 2pm there is a court hearing in Judge Biebel's courtroom, R. 101)
Cook County Courthouse, 26th & California

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2pm-5pm
Center on Halsted
3656 N. Broadway, Room 203

Next Events

Due to unforeseen complications, Lobby Day will not be this Wednesday, March 4. We'll post asap with the new date. Sorry for the inconvenience, and thanks for your support!


Come lobby in Springfield for HB2366!
7:00am-9:00pm (Dress nice!)
2638 W Division St. (there's plenty of non-permit parking on side streets in the neighborhood)

more events...

TY10 Photos

photos in Tamms Year Ten More Tamms Year Ten


To the gracious God who creates us to be in relation, even when we fail and when others fall:

All People: Recreate us gracious God, so that we can again be related to you and to each other.

Leader: To the forgiving God who redeems our fallen lives, the fallen lives of others, and the life of a fallen world:

All People: Redeem us forgiving God, as we commit ourselves to overcoming policies that confine others to solitary isolation.

Leader: To the empowering God who calls us to be agents of change and restoration:

All People: Empower us to change your fallen world so that isolation becomes solidarity, and out of mistreatment and abuse will come restorative compassion and redeeming justice. Amen.

This prayer was written for the Faith Summit for Criminal Justice Reform, a project of the Community Renewal Society, by the Reverend Dr. Larry Greenfield, Executive Minister, American Baptist Churches of Metro Chicago.