Good Family Outcomes Are Good For Everyone

Have you ever encountered difficulties or obstacles from the IDOC when going to visit your incarcerated loved ones?

Our friends at Restore Justice have a bill that would provide a statewide point of contact for the Illinois Department of Corrections, which can receive complaints and suggestions from people who face difficulties when trying to visit incarcerated loved ones.

For more information about their bill and how to fill out witness slips with your position on the bill, please click on the links below…

For questions, contact: Jobi Cates at

Joseph Dole, Media For A Just Society Award Finalist

Evident Change is proud to announce the finalists for the 2020 Media for a Just Society Awards. Each year, we recognize media from across the United States that further public understanding of Evident Change’s focus areas, including child welfare, juvenile justice, adult justice, and adult protection.

Many of these topics are covered regularly by the media, yet their treatment is often sensationalized and not representative of system issues the public should care about. The media we recognize look deeper, consider trends, and offer insight.

For many years, the Media for a Just Society Awards have been given in the categories of book, film, print/online journalism, radio, television/video, and youth media. This year we have added a new category for those who write and create other media while incarcerated.

We believe their unique perspectives are crucial to understanding and improving the nation’s social systems.


Former Judge, Prisoner Want To End Life Without Parole For People Under 25

A former judge and a current inmate believe that people who commit serious crimes under the age of 25 should have the chance to be released once they turn 50 rather than face a sentence of life in prison without the chance of parole.

“There is so much research that has been done that people’s brains don’t really develop until they are around 25,” said Sen. Arthur Rusch, a Republican from Vermillion who heads the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“We made a horrible, horrible, horrible mistake and a horrible choice of judgment,” but “I know that people can change and people can learn from their mistakes,” said Renee Eckes, a 42-year-old woman serving a life sentence for murdering a man when she was 19.


Prison Pandemic

Since mid-March, people incarcerated in Illinois prisons have been on lockdown, locked in a cell for 23.5 hours a day.

COVID-19 guidelines are not being followed by prison staff, COVID-19 is still spreading, people are still dying.

On Tuesday, December 15th at 11am, the End IL Prison Lockdown Coalition will hold space outside of the Thompson Center, urging Governor Pritzker to immediately address the crisis of COVID-19 in Illinois prisons.


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


IDOC’s Reentry Program Helps Prisoners Successfully Integrate Back Into Society

In 2019, more than 23,000 men and women were released from the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Last year, IDOC created a new program that’s main focus is to provide the necessary services to people returning to society.

Administrator for the Reentry Program, Jennifer Parrack, said it’s all about bridging the gap between life inside the correctional facility and when people are released on parole.

“We really knew that we were not adequately preparing our men and women to leave our correctional facilities and be successful,” Parrack said. “For our men and women that have worked really hard in our correctional facilities to better themselves and get prepared to have a better life to support their family members upon release, we really need to be working hard to assist them.”