WESTEFER v. SNYDER
725 F.Supp.2d 735 (2010)
United States District Court, S.D. Illinois.
July 20, 2010.
Q. Have they told you what you need to do to get out of level E?
A. No, they never told me.
Doc. 514 (Guthrie Testimony) at 18-19.
A number of IDOC inmates who are or who formerly were confined at Tamms gave testimony in this case that specifically linked the intense isolation at Tamms to deterioration of their mental health that they suffered during their confinement in the supermax prison. For example, Larry Strickland, a former Tamms inmate, as noted, who currently is confined at Pontiac, testified that confinement at Tamms is "a lot more stressful" than confinement at Pontiac precisely because inmates at Tamms cannot communicate effectively with each other. Doc. 514 (Strickland Testimony) at 9. Strickland also testified that while he was at Tamms he began experiencing auditory hallucinations or "hearing voices" and suffered delusions that correctional personnel at the supermax prison were poisoning his food. Id. at 10. Ultimately Strickland was transferred out of Tamms to the Psychiatric Unit of the Dixon Correctional Center, where he remained for approximately a year before being transferred to Pontiac. See id. at 8-9.
Similarly, Rodney Guthrie testified that he had no history of psychiatric disorders before being transferred to Tamms and that, following his transfer to the supermax prison, he fell into a severe depression caused by the isolation at Tamms that ultimately prompted him to have himself classified as an escape risk in a desperate bid to escape from that isolation:
Q. Did you notice any change in yourself, your mental attitudes while you were at Tamms?
A. Well, um, when they first sent me there I was maybe in a depressed state, you know. I contacted mental health after dealing with them for maybe five years out of the whole time I was there just to keep my sanity to have nobody to talk to. They pull me out maybe once every two weeks, see how I'm doing, things like that. We talk about social issues, prison issues, things of that nature. For the most part I was in a depressed state. That's what led me to become a level E.
Q. Did you have those depression problems before you went to Tamms?