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 →

Parole Illinois: Who are We?

Parole Illinois.   Who are we?  We are a coalition of people inside and outside of prison who are working toward a more just and humane legal system. We believe in the power of redemption and transformation; and that it is inhumane to order people to spend decades in prison until they die there without any periodic assessment of whether such sentences are necessary for public safety. We therefore stand against policies that sentence people to death by incarceration, whether that be life-without-parole or excruciatingly long sentences that people cannot outlive. We recognize that excessive sentencing laws have piled up …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 →