WESTEFER v. SNYDER
725 F.Supp.2d 735 (2010)
United States District Court, S.D. Illinois.
July 20, 2010.
Doc. 417 (Sorrentino Testimony) at 47-48. Similarly, Plaintiff Sparling testified that, at his initial transfer review hearing following his transfer from Menard to Tamms in administrative detention, he was asked by one correctional officer on Sparling's transfer review committee who Sparling had "piss[ed] off" at Menard so as to be assigned to Tamms. Doc. 513 (Sparling Testimony) at 11. The officer's question suggests that even the members of the transfer review committee at Sparling's initial transfer review hearing did not know the reason why Sparling was assigned to Tamms.
Finally, after their transfer review hearing inmates receive only a summary notice stating that they have been appropriately placed at Tamms; they are not told what evidence was relied upon in making the decision, nor is the reason they were sent to Tamms explained. For example, the only explanation Plaintiff Sparling was given as to why he remained in confinement at Tamms for over six years was that he was "[p]roperly placed." Doc. 513 (Sparling Testimony) at 11. See also Doc. 482 (V. Rodriguez Testimony) at 21 (the witness, who has been confined at Tamms for more than ten years, testified that the only explanation he was given for his assignment to Tamms was that he was "properly placed"). The Court concludes that the existing transfer review procedure for inmates placed at Tamms in administrative detention status fails adequately to protect the due process rights of such inmates.5. IDOC Director Randle's Ten-Point Plan
Having concluded that existing IDOC procedures for assigning inmates to Tamms are constitutionally inadequate, the Court turns next to consideration of certain provisions of IDOC Director Randle's Ten-Point Plan and the adequacy of the Ten-Point Plan to protect the due process
liberty interest of IDOC inmates in avoiding confinement at the supermax prison. The Ten-Point Plan, which, as discussed, has been approved by the Governor of Illinois but which has not yet been implemented in IDOC regulations, makes certain important changes to the way inmates are assigned to Tamms in light of the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Wilkinson. By way of introduction, the Plan notes the current IDOC procedure concerning transfer review hearings for Tamms inmates:
Inmates and advocacy groups have voiced concern regarding the process for informing inmates at Tamms [Closed Maximum Security Unit ("CMAX")], including informing them of the reason for placement. Currently under 20 Illinois Administrative Code, Chapter 1, Subchapter e—Operations Part 505, Closed Maximum Security Facility, a Transfer Review Hearing is to be conducted within ten working days of the inmate's placement at Tamms CMAX in administrative detention status or at the expiration of his disciplinary segregation term. Administrative Directive 05.02.110, Placement at Closed Maximum Security Facility, provides that the Chief Administrative Officer is to appoint members of the Transfer Review Committee.
Ten-Point Plan (Plaintiffs' Exhibit 7) at 14. The Plan then notes the need for changes in IDOC policies for assigning inmates to Tamms:
The Department would make a series of changes in the official policy describing the Transfer Review Hearing process and within the established timelines for placing an inmate at Tamms CMAX. The proposed changes to the pertinent Department Rules and Administrative Directives are underlined within the text below. Further, the proposed procedures for conducting a Transfer Review Hearing follow the official policy changes. Note that the official filing of a grievance and the associated review policies will allow inmates to appeal the transfer to "supermax" to the Department Chief Legal Counsel, and not the Administrative Review Board.