If Biden Wants To End Death Penalty, He Must Also End Death By Incarceration

In the waning days of the Trump administration, discussions often focused on the federal death penalty, as 13 people were executed between July and Biden’s inauguration. The Biden administration has pledged to eliminate the federal death penalty and incentivize states to do the same…

A Crucial Step.

However, what is often not included in this conversation is the hidden death penalty, also known as death-by-incarceration.

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My Brother Was Condemned to Death—Then He Was Condemned to Covid-19

My brother, Billie Allen, has been fighting for his life on two fronts.

He has waged the first of these fights from federal death row, against a legal system that was not designed to find truth or enact real justice. He has waged the second fight from hospital beds, plagued by health issues that affect his very ability to prove his innocence.

As Billie’s sister—and his best friend—I am more than a witness. My brother’s fight is my fight. His loss of freedom is mine.

My fear has increased sharply these last months as both of my brother’s fights took a dangerous turn. As the lame-duck Trump administration continues its race to kill as many people on death row as it can before the inauguration—10 people on federal death row have been executed in less than six months, with three more execution dates scheduled before January 20—Billie’s name could be called at any time. And on December 16, as Covid-19 continued to rip through prisons, including federal death row, I received a phone call from my brother: Billie had tested positive for the virus.

When I heard the news, my stomach sank.

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Support Parole Illinois: Howard Keller

Parole Illinois is pushing for policy changes that help reverse cycles of violence and incarceration and give people like Howard fair chances to be reviewed for release.

With your help, we can bring the story of Howard and others like him to a wider audience and gain support for a system of Earned Discretionary Reentry that provides our loved ones opportunities to finally come home.

Make a gift to Parole Illinois this season so we have the resources to pass Earned Discretionary Reentry in Illinois. You can donate here…

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#SupportParoleIllinois

Support Parole Illinois: Valdez Jordan

Parole Illinois is pushing for policy changes that help reverse cycles of violence and incarceration and give people like Valdez fair chances to be reviewed for release.

With your help, we can bring the story of Valdez to a wider audience and gain support for a system of Earned Discretionary Reentry that provides our loved ones opportunities to finally come home.

This month we are raising money so we can raise awareness and gain support for Earned Discretionary Reentry in Illinois. You can support us by making a donation…

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#SupportParoleIllinois

Stimulus, Round 2: Incarcerated People Will Be Eligible For New Round Of Payments

In the wake of the recently passed stimulus bill, many Americans are complaining about the paltry direct payments of $600.

Without detracting from Congress’s failure to support the millions of people who need help, it is worth pausing to acknowledge one unexpected victory in the bill: It contains no prohibition on stimulus payments for incarcerated people.

It’s a good thing that Congress stuck to the policy of including incarcerated people in the pool of eligible recipients.

Even before the pandemic, day-to-day life in prison and jail was getting expensive, with commissary charges for basic food and hygiene items, and increasingly common pay-to-play e-book and music programs.

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Support Parole Illinois: Janet Jackson

Give the gift of resources this holiday season!

Parole Illinois is pushing for policy changes that help reverse cycles of violence and incarceration and give people like Janet a fair chance to be reviewed for release.

With your help, we can bring their stories to a wider audience and gain support for a system of Earned Discretionary Reentry that provides our loved ones opportunities to finally come home.

You can support us by making a donation

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9 Demands

  1. Expand Yard Time To 2-3 Times A Week For At Least 2 Hours Each Time
  2. Grant Physical Access To Legal Materials In The Law Libraries Weekly
  3. Grant Physical Movement To Commissary Twice A Month
  4. Follow State Safety Guidelines For COVID19 In All Of The Illinois Department Of Corrections
  5. Stop Moving People Around When They Are Stable With Their Current Cellmates
  6. Respect Free Speech Rights And Do Not Censor Or Delay Mail
  7. Increase Access To Mental Health Resources
  8. Increase Access To Phone Calls, Video Visits And In Person Visits When Health Officials Deem It Safe
  9. Set A Rational Timeline Based On State Safety Guidelines To End The Lockdown

#EndILPrisonLockDowns

Facing Life

At the end of 2018, more than 5,400 people in Pennsylvania were serving life without the possibility of parole. Some advocates refer to this sentence as death by incarceration.

On Thursday, the Board of Pardons will hold hearings for three people serving life without the possibility of parole and could vote Friday on recommending commutations for eight others who had hearings earlier this year.

The Appeal, over the course of several months, met with nine people who had been released from prison after being sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

Five of these people were resentenced because their crimes occurred when they were children, two had their adult convictions commuted and two were exonerated.

Combined this group served more than 250 years in prison.

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Michael Simmons

“It is my hope, using my life’s experience and this education, to one day return to our communities in need as part of the solution.”

Parole Illinois is pushing for policy changes that help reverse cycles of violence and incarceration and give people like Michael fair chances to be reviewed for release. 

With your help, we can bring the story of Michael and others like him to a wider audience and gain support for a system of Earned Discretionary Reentry that provides our loved ones opportunities to finally come home. 

We are inching closer to our fundraising goal for the month. Support Earned Discretionary Reentry in Illinois by making a donation.

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#SupportParoleIllinois

Over 100 COVID Rebellions in Jails & Prisons

U.S jails and prisons, already death traps, have been completely ravaged by COVID-19.

Crowded quarters, a lack of PPE, inadequate medical care, an aging population, and unsanitary conditions have contributed to an infection rate 5.5 times higher than the already ballooned average in the U.S. As of this writing, over 252,000 people in jails and prisons have been infected and at least 1,450 incarcerated people and officers have died from the novel coronavirus. Evidence suggests these figures are underreported, however.

(The entire state of Wisconsin, for example, isn’t releasing any information to the public.)

In response, incarcerated people have shown strong solidarity, coming together to demand baseline safety measures and advocating for their release, only to be met with brutal repression and punishment.

According to a new report released by the archival group Perilous: A Chronicle of Prisoner Unrest on November 13, incarcerated people in the U.S. collectively organized at least 106 COVID-19 related rebellions from March 17 to June 15.

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