WESTEFER v. SNYDER
725 F.Supp.2d 735 (2010)
United States District Court, S.D. Illinois.
July 20, 2010.
Q. All right. What was the difference there [Pontiac] and here?
A. Um, well, you had more contact with people. Not physical contact but you had social contact with people. You had—
Q. What do you mean by that?
A. Well, the cells were bars. You know, you could reach out, you know, you could touch a person's hand which was a significant difference. If you have never—if you have been—if you have been isolated for so long, just putting your hands on another human being was like . . . wow. You know the feeling if you ever been thirsty and you just drink a cold glass of water. It's like that. It's strange at first but it's—well, it's free.
Doc. 433 (Bell Testimony) at 30-31. It is apparent to the Court that, as IDOC Director Randle testified, confinement at Tamms and segregation at a maximum security prison like Pontiac are "two different things." Doc. 522 (Randle Testimony) at 18. The Court concludes that conditions at Tamms are significantly more restrictive than confinement in segregation at Pontiac. Accordingly, the Court finds that, assuming arguendo that conditions in segregation at Pontiac are a proper baseline for measuring whether conditions at Tamms give rise to a liberty interest in avoiding placement at the supermax prison, conditions at Tamms comprise atypical and significant hardship in comparison to conditions in segregation at Pontiac.c. Conditions at Menard and Stateville
As already has been noted, Plaintiffs propose conditions in the general population at Menard and Stateville as a proper baseline for measuring whether conditions of confinement at Tamms impose atypical and significant hardship in relation to the ordinary incidents of prison life so as to give rise to a due process liberty interest in avoiding confinement at Tamms. Defendants have stipulated that inmates at Tamms are subjected to restrictions which are atypical and significant in comparison to conditions in the general population at
Illinois maximum security prisons such as Menard and Stateville. See Doc. 417 (Transcript of Day 1 of Bench Trial) at 17. Accordingly, the Court finds that conditions at Tamms impose atypical and significant hardship in comparison to conditions in the general population at Menard and Stateville.