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 →

Pre Debate Speech on misapplication of Natural-life sentences by Oscar Parham

Are Natural Life Sentences Being Applied In The Way They Were Meant to Be? By Oscar Parham ~ a.k.a Smiley   Here is a fun fact that society may not know: the state of Illinois claims to focus its system on rehabilitation rather than retribution.  However, the rampant over-sentencing and gross misuse of life sentences tell a very different story.   The overuse of life sentences in the state of Illinois is a sad reality that needs to be addressed.  But many politicians are reluctant to address it for fear of the dreaded label “soft on crime.” But is showing …Read More →