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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Prison or Her?

By Keith Bennett

Each day that passes, we are all one day closer to death.
Each day that passes, are days we will never get back.
Each day spent in prison, is another day we spend without freedom
A lot of guys throw their entire lives away for the Mob, for their guys…
I fail to understand how the Mob and the guys can be more important than being free…

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By Efrain Alcaraz

Dear Mother, I understand your pain as my indigenous traditions. In your body rivers of blood, carrying life, splitting your body causing pain, in my vein’s rivers of blood, carrying my indigenous pain.

We were both conquered by humans and we both suffered the consequences, in your part, pierced your body, with powerful drills trying to steal your blood that is killing the world. The black gold.

In my part they only pierced my veins with needles, to steal my indigenous blood, on your surface thousands of indigenous tribes passed by farewells, in search of better lands, in my mind only painful moments passed dissolving farewells.

But you are the best Mother, you burdened me when I was born, you gave me food when I was hungry, and you gave me to drink your blood when I was thirsty.

Thank you, Mother Earth. ■

Originally published in the Fall/Winter 2018 edition of Stateville Speaks.

The Enemy Within

By Eric Snead

If score was kept of life’s mess, I’d have perfect ten
The greatest battle I have is “The Enemy Within”
In times of trouble, chaos and confusion I befriended
Bad mistakes and decisions over & over I defended
In perfect world my shelves are well stocked
In reality my cupboard bare and I’m shell shocked
I pay my fare on the emotional roller coaster ride
“The Enemy Within” is so eager to play outside
Under Dr. Feelgood I have been sedated
Thoughts of the afterlife I have contemplated Continue reading “The Enemy Within”

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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By Tammy Englerth

I am just a normal inmate. Like many others I have transformed from a silent onlooker to a vocal activist. Prison walls don’t stop you from using your voice. My outward circumstances have not changed – I am still just another prisoner. But my inner world has shifted dramatically. I am an overcomer, and so can you be. You can’t change your mistake or circumstance, but we can make our time useful by helping others and most of all ourselves.

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We All Make Mistakes

By Willie Scales

Dear Prisoners:

We all make mistakes!
Mistakes can be forgiven, but only if we repent today!

So I beg you to please exchange your negativity and your destructive behavior and exercise that energy toward something positive, like seeking vocation training, enrolling in a GED testing course or a college program!

Something that will not only be positive and fruitful for you, but also for your
Wonderful offspring’s, as well as for your community!

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