The Importance of a Second Chance, by Marni Yang

The Importance of a Second Chance It has been said that a society can be measured by the manner in which it treats the least of its citizens. With that in mind, the most marginalized portion of any society is arguably the prison inmate. No other demographic is afforded less consideration in terms of basic human rights, and less ability and resources to assert the few legal rights they retain. Illinois has one of the most archaic systems of corrections in the entire nation, with an abysmal track record in terms of treatment of its prisoners. The state has been …Read More →

Essay on Parole and Artwork by Miguel Morales

First and foremost, I appreciate you taking the time out to stop and read through some of these postings. I’m writing you this in search for understanding and support on an important issue that we’re up against behind these walls. The muzzle has been put on us (prisoners) for far too long now. We’ve always been made to feel like we’re simply stuck and can’t do anything to change the way we’re being treated back here because of stigmas made against us, lifestyles we were living, choices made when we were younger, and because it works, so much better for …Read More →

Thoughts from Steven Scotti on why Illinois needs a parole system

If you were to walk into any prison cell in the state you would quickly notice one thing. Although there are two inmates in this room, it was clearly only DESIGNED for one: there is only ONE desk, or only ONE chair, to maybe only ONE shelf to put your stuff. Every cell in the Illinois Department of Corrections is holding ONE more inmate than it was designed to hold. [Note from Parole Illinois: Some Illinois prison cells have two persons but no chair, no desk, and no shelf.] If you speak with the staff, they will TELL you they …Read More →

Parole Reform White Paper

Reforms to the Illinois Prisoner Review Board: Qualifications and Duties by Sarah Aagard, Rosalind Dillon, Joseph Dole, & Raul Dorado   INTRODUCTION   In 1977, Illinois ended an 80-year tradition in criminal justice by removing the opportunity for parole.[1] Now, there are over 5,500 prisoners in Illinois serving life sentences or de facto life sentences.[2] Most of them will die in prison. The proportionate penalties clause of the Illinois Constitution provides that: “All penalties shall be determined both according to the seriousness of the offense and with the objective of restoring the offender to useful citizenship.”[3] Parole is meant to …Read More →

Letter from insiders to friends and family

Dear Friends and Family, We are sending this letter to all of you who have stuck by us throughout this difficult incarceration. We understand that we are not the only ones doing time; that our friends and family are suffering both visible and hidden costs due to my incarceration; and that our family is being harmed emotionally, physically, and financially. Which makes it all that much harder to ask anything more of you all and we truly regret that we have to. However, without your help, we will die in here. It’s as simple as that. We know you wish …Read More →

“Why it is imperative that incarcerated individuals can review their master files,” Joseph Dole

Why it is Imperative that Incarcerated Illinoisans Have a Right to Review Their “Master Files” and a way to Challenge any Inaccurate Information Contained within Them. By Joseph Dole The Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) maintains what is called a “master file” on every incarcerated individual under its control. Among other things, the master file contains a statement of facts about the crime he or she was convicted of, their sentence calculation (or mittimus) sheet, their disciplinary history, grievances they have filed, and much more During clemency proceedings, the Prisoner Review Board has unfettered access to the master file of …Read More →