My mom was by my side the first time I went away. The second time was just too much.
by Daniel McCann, The Marshall Project Life Inside Series
May 21, 2020
"In silence, all I could think about was the time my mom had told me that a broken heart would be her demise. I knew that it would only be a matter of time now before the disappointment I had caused would also make me guilty of murder. My weapon? Heartache."
The Prison Policy Initiative
by Wendy Sawyer and Peter Wagner
March 24, 2020
'Can it really be true that most people in jail are being held before trial? And how much of mass incarceration is a result of the war on drugs? These questions are harder to answer than you might think, because our country’s systems of confinement are so fragmented. The various government agencies involved in the justice system collect a lot of critical data, but it is not designed to help policymakers or the public understand what’s going on. As public support for criminal justice reform continues to build, however, it’s more important than ever that we get the facts straight and understand the big picture."
by Danielle Ivory
New York Times
In jails and prisons across the country, concerns are rising of a coronavirus outbreak behind bars. Already, cases have been reported. On Friday, someone who works in a Washington State prison tested positive for the virus, and the day before, the sheriff in Hancock County, Ind., said a staff member at the local jail was being isolated at home after a positive test. On Tuesday night, New York State confirmed that an employee at the Sing Sing Correctional Facility had tested positive.
Life Inside: The Marshall Project
By Keith Martin
"When you’re in prison, outside sights and sounds can become cruel jokes...
Life Inside: Perspectives from those who work and live in the criminal justice system. "
Degradation, Neglect And Roaches: Inside Illinois’ Largest Women’s Prison
WBEZ News by Patrick Smith
January 2, 2020
The staff and inmates at Illinois’ largest women’s prison agree the facility is “falling apart,” “neglected” and “unsanitary.”
The deteriorating physical condition is one of the key findings of a new report from the independent prison watchdog John Howard Association on the Logan Correctional Center in central Illinois.
The newly released monitoring report notes that the Illinois Department of Corrections has eased overcrowding at Logan, which houses the vast majority of the state’s female prisoners, but also warns “there is still much to be improved.” Those needed improvements include more mental health practitioners, a more professional and respectful workforce and the overdue physical repairs.
Many families struggle to pay for phone calls with loved ones in U.S. prisons
NBC News by Lindsey Pipia
Dec 31, 2019
“You have 60 more seconds." "You have 30 more seconds.”
The female voice interrupted each time Maria Marshall talked on the phone with her son in prison.
But the chance to make contact for three or four minutes a day, a few days a week, came with a cost. Marshall spent $120 in just two weeks in July for her son to call her and other relatives and friends.
“My son is just trying to get through it,” Marshall said a few weeks before he was released. NBC News agreed not to publish his name, age or what he was convicted of because he is still in his teens. “He’s afraid. He’s scared. It’s a traumatic experience. Talking to familiar people and his family is making that experience less traumatic.”
A Couple That Crafts Together Stays Together
The Marshall Project by Jenny Jimenez
Dec 19, 2019
Jenny Jimenez and her husband, Jesse, who is incarcerated in Illinois, have found creative ways to show each other love, especially around Christmas. Puzzle filters, nail clippers and Lifetime original movies are involved.
My husband, Jesse, has been back in prison since last January. He was released last Christmas Eve, hours before we were married, but we didn’t get to do much together during the weeks he was out. He had an ankle monitor, and he couldn't even use the upstairs bathroom without it going off because the parole agent hadn’t come by yet to give him movement. He couldn’t get back to work or begin his engineering classes. He would watch me out the window struggling with groceries and cleaning snow off the car and it began to wear on him.
A woman who was part of Oklahoma's mass release of 462 inmates says 'there's more drugs in prison than there is on the streets', and if you can stay clean inside, you can thrive outside
Business Insider by Ashley Collman
Nov 11, 2020
In January 2016, Calista Ortiz lost a son to sudden infant death syndrome and started doing meth.
About a year later, Ortiz — who didn't know she was a few days pregnant at the time — was arrested for drug possession and sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison in Oklahoma.
Separated from her infant daughter shortly after giving birth and facing nearly a decade behind bars, it would be understandable if Ortiz felt defeated. But she focused instead on earning her GED and getting a forklift certification. And now her hard work is paying off.
College Behind Bars
PBS A film by Lynn Novick.
Stream all episodes November 25 at 9/8c.
Explore the transformative power of education through the eyes of a dozen incarcerated men and women trying to earn college degrees – and a chance at new beginnings – from one of the country’s most rigorous prison education programs.
Illinois has 40,922 people in prison. We can reduce that number. Read the full report
If Illinois were to follow these and other reforms in this Smart Justice 50-State Blueprint, by 2025 it could have 24,898 fewer people in its prison system, saving over $1.5 billion that could be invested in schools, services, and other resources that would strengthen communities.
Learn About Facts and Policy
Proposed reforms: Illinois-24,898
Drug offenses-7,819 fewer people in prison
What this is about
Learning asks us to change – so that the world might be a place for all are free to thrive