The Nation’s Oldest Juvenile Lifer, Joe Ligon, Left Pa. Prison After 68 Years

Ligon, re-sentenced to 35 years to life in 2017, rejected the very idea of parole after nearly seven decades in prison.

“I like to be free,” he said. “With parole, you got to see the parole people every so often. You can’t leave the city without permission from parole. That’s part of freedom for me.”

“We waste people’s lives by over-incarcerating and we waste money by over-incarcerating. Hopefully his release, and the release of the juvenile lifers in general, will cause a reevaluation of the way we incarcerate people.”

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Life Without Parole For Felony Murder: Case Targets Sentencing Law

A first-of-its-kind court case in Pennsylvania is asking a big question: How long do people need to stay in prison before they get a second chance?

More than 1,000 people are serving life without parole in Pennsylvania, even though they never intended to kill anyone. Seventy percent of those people are Black.

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Parole Boards Approved Fewer Releases In 2020 Than In 2019, Despite The Raging Pandemic

Prisons have had 10 months to take measures to reduce their populations and save lives amidst the ongoing pandemic.

Yet our comparison of 13 states’ parole grant rates from 2019 and 2020 reveals that many have failed to utilize parole as a mechanism for releasing more people to the safety of their homes.

In over half of the states we studied—Alabama, Iowa, Michigan, Montana, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina – between 2019 and 2020, there was either no change or a decrease in parole grant rates.

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REDEMPTION AT STATEVILLE: Battling False Hope 4 Cookies At A Time

He did time in Pontiac. He did time in Menard. He did time in Stateville.

Those places held Smiley but they will not define him which is to say of course they will define him because how can you spend time in a place and not take a part of that place with you?

Now Smiley works at Legacy Reentry Foundation in Waukegan.

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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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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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