Editorial: Stateville Speaks Needs Your Help

The main goal of Stateville Speaks has always been to provide a voice to those incarcerated, especially in Illinois, by allowing a platform for them to share it through their writings. It has also allowed us to disseminate information about laws and policies that may be of concern to those on the inside.

Over the past several years Stateville Speaks has been able to operate through the generous funding of Cynthia Kobel and the Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Foundation. The newsletter has been able to be widely distributed because of her commitment to incarcerated individuals and their need to be heard. Additionally, because of her support, we have been able to provide no-cost subscriptions for any interested inmate.

Unfortunately, moving forward, Ms. Kobel and the Foundation will no longer be able to fund Stateville Speaks. Continue reading “Editorial: Stateville Speaks Needs Your Help”

The Rehabilitation Initiative

By Charles Childs

Does anyone notice what’s terribly wrong in Illinois prisons? I’ll tell you, in my opinion, not enough energy is being invested into the fight to bring back parole. There’s an inside joke that even suggests that the dominant conversations around Illinois prisons has been reduced to four main topics: 1) Does anyone know what’s for chow tonight? 2) …when we going back to commissary? 3)…what’s coming on TV tonight? And 4) …when we coming off lockdown? I disagree. However, while we’ve been distracted by whatever distractions that has been distracting us, ‘everyone else’ somehow has gained control of the narrative about us. My question is why isn’t our voice the loudest?

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#Team Freedom Proposal Introduction

By Elbonie Burnside

This proposal is written with the concerns of the overcrowding in Illinois prisons in mind. # Team Freedom understands due to the seriousness of particular crimes a certain requirement of measures must be taken into account. However, the Illinois Constitution Article 1, Section 11 states: All penalties shall be determined both according to the seriousness of the offense with the objective of returning the offender to useful citizenship. In order for the percentage of criminal activity to drop, both lawmakers and breakers need to realize that we all fall short of perfection and the human thing to do is change for the better. Continue reading “#Team Freedom Proposal Introduction”

Reformation of Our Judicial System

By Lawrence Frazier

In America, we need judicial system reform that is focused on justice and truth. When a jury makes a decision based on what turns out to be erroneous information, or perjured testimony the system is reluctant to correct the error. Every day we see examples of people with money, power, and position afforded one form of treatment within the judicial system, while the poor and disadvantaged are treated radically different. All too many African Americans know what it is like to be accused of a crime they have not committed.

In Illinois, defense lawyers, journalists and students have helped free 14 of 288 Death Row prisoners. That is an error rate (thus far) of 4.9% in cases that receive intense scrutiny. Applied to the general inmate population, that would translate to roughly 100,000 people, or enough to fill 80 prisons. If the number of prisoners who have been released in capital cases is any indication, a significant percentage of the 2 million residents of State and Federal prisons are living a nightmare. Only because no one wants to appear soft on crime, Congress and the courts emphasize bureaucracy over justice. Our penal system is littered with innocent people who do not have the resources or the influence to overturn wrongful conviction.

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Who is to Blame?

By Pablo Salgado

Sadly, for far too long we have been greatly deceived. Force to conform to policies adopted from inhumane sadistic animalistic concentration camp mentality by IDOC Administration without at times the slightest discomfort or outcry in our part. Because of this, the deception continues to succeed, converting itself to a perpetual system of mental deterioration and nothing else.

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