Category Archives: Prisoners

Donald Trump v. Shamar Betts

I, Shamar Betts, incited a riot through a Facebook post encouraging my people to join alongside the rest of the world in an attempt to express our feelings on the tragic death of George Floyd in May of 2020. Although … Continue reading

 60 total views,  3 views today

Posted in African American, African Americans, BLM, Court System, incarceration, January 6 insurrection, Justice, Prisoners, Racism, Trump, Voices of Color, Youth | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Donald Trump v. Shamar Betts

Reckless Law, Shameless Order: Behind the Scenes

  One afternoon in April of 2021 Faranak Miraftab called me to ask if I was interested in holding an art workshop with formerly incarcerated artists in continuation of the “IDENSCITY,” a conceptual art space that I had been developing … Continue reading

 167 total views

Posted in African Americans, African Americans, Arts, Immigrants, incarceration, Local Arts, Prison Arts, Prisoners, Voices, Voices of Color, Women | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Reckless Law, Shameless Order: Behind the Scenes

Two Stories from Statesville Prison

Saving Your Mind: Mental Health in the Age of Corona “This is some next-level shit. I thought I’d seen it all in my 20 years in prison,” said Murder (no real names used), my Quarantine Sanitation Specialist co-worker, as we … Continue reading

 183 total views,  1 views today

Posted in Arts, incarceration, Local Arts, Prison Arts, Prisoners | Comments Off on Two Stories from Statesville Prison

A Muslim on the Inside

“Praise the Gods, Martin Luther King is dead.” Monroe Haynes was an 18-year-old in Vietnam fighting a war he did not understand, with people he did not know, when he heard his commander proclaim this statement. Just barely an adult, … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Islam, Prisoners | Comments Off on A Muslim on the Inside

New Bill Takes Effect Cutting Cost of Calls from Illinois Prisons

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 8, 2018 FOR MORE INFORMATION: Brian Dolinar, Program Director, Independent Media Center, (217) 621-5827, briandolinar@ucimc.org The Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center (UCIMC) is proud to announce that as of January 1, 2018, a new state law took … Continue reading

Posted in Justice, Prisoners | Comments Off on New Bill Takes Effect Cutting Cost of Calls from Illinois Prisons

“You’re Still in Jail”: How Electronic Monitoring Is a Shackle on the Movement for Decarceration

(A longer version of this article originally appeared in Truthout.) By James Kilgore Despite the “law and order” vows of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, states and counties continue to take steps to reduce prison and jail populations. In August, Cook … Continue reading

Posted in Justice, Prisoners | Comments Off on “You’re Still in Jail”: How Electronic Monitoring Is a Shackle on the Movement for Decarceration

Interview with Marlon Mitchell from FirstFollowers

.  The local group FirstFollowers is only two years old, but it is already making in impact in our community.  In this interview Marlon Mitchell talks with Carol Inskeep about their mission and the ambitious range of projects the group … Continue reading

Posted in Community, Justice, Prisoners | Comments Off on Interview with Marlon Mitchell from FirstFollowers

Orange Crush: The Rise of Tactical Teams in Prison

Since Ferguson, there has been a public outcry over militarized police who shoot down African Americans on the streets of our cities, but less is known beyond prison walls about guards who regularly brutalize those incarcerated. In Illinois, there is … Continue reading

Posted in Prisoners | Comments Off on Orange Crush: The Rise of Tactical Teams in Prison

Fighting Mass Incarceration Under Trump: New Strategies, New Alliance

By James Kilgore Yusef Shakur is a Detroit community organizer who spent several years in Michigan state prisons. “The prison-industrial complex has found the right person to feed it,” he said in response to the election results. “Trump is of … Continue reading

Posted in African American, Justice, Policing, Prisoners, Trump | Comments Off on Fighting Mass Incarceration Under Trump: New Strategies, New Alliance

Regulation of Prison Phone Calls Sweeps the Nation

The Justice Department’s recent recommendation to end the use of private facilities for US citizens in federal prisons has been hailed as a victory by reformers, but the widespread privatization of everyday services in prison, like hygiene products, food, laundry … Continue reading

Posted in Justice, Prisoners | Comments Off on Regulation of Prison Phone Calls Sweeps the Nation

Statement on the Upcoming Ballot Referendum on “Public Facilities”

Statement delivered by Build Programs, Not Jails before the County Board on August 18, 2016.  Last week [on Tuesday, August 9, 2016] the County Board’s Committee of the Whole voted in favor of placing a referendum on the November ballot … Continue reading

Posted in Justice, Prisoners | Comments Off on Statement on the Upcoming Ballot Referendum on “Public Facilities”

IMC Helps Pass Prison Phone Justice Bill in Illinois

State Representative Carol Ammons and Wandjell Harvey-Robinson attended the signing of HB6200 on August 22, 2016. The bill will cut in half the cost of phone calls from Illinois prisons. Thank you to Rep. Ammons and Wandjell for fighting for … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Prisoners, UC-IMC | Comments Off on IMC Helps Pass Prison Phone Justice Bill in Illinois

Prison Boycott in Illinois Targets Costs of Incarceration

During the month of April, at least 100 of those incarcerated at Stateville Correctional Center, about an hour outside of Chicago, participated in a boycott of the overpriced phone calls, commissary goods, and vending machines. “Mass incarceration is a luxury … Continue reading

Posted in Prisoners | Comments Off on Prison Boycott in Illinois Targets Costs of Incarceration

Jail is Not Drug Treatment

If you were to believe those like Champaign County Board Chair Pattsi Petrie, who spoke recently at a meeting of Champaign County’s Racial Justice Task Force, those in the local jail are dangerous people that shouldn’t be let out on … Continue reading

Posted in Prisoners | Comments Off on Jail is Not Drug Treatment

Racism and Mass Incarceration in the US Heartland: Historical Roots of the New Jim Crow

If asked what state had the highest rate of incarceration rate of black men, most people would likely cite somewhere in the old Confederacy, perhaps Mississippi or Louisiana. They would be about 1000 miles too far South. According to labor … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Justice, Latino/a, Prisoners | Comments Off on Racism and Mass Incarceration in the US Heartland: Historical Roots of the New Jim Crow

Incarceration figures

Some figures compiled in the Coalition for Prisoners’ Rights Newsletter (April 2016). Reprinted with Permission. I. Number Incarcerated in U.S., 2014 1.5 million people at an annual per person cost of $80 billion–approximately $51,250 each. (A “free world” minimum wage of $15/hr … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Justice, Latino/a, Prisoners, Women, Youth | Comments Off on Incarceration figures

Supporting the Voices Inside: The Freedom Archives

“When the prison doors are opened the real dragon will fly out.” -Ho Chi Minh The movements to end mass incarceration were re-invigorated in early September as a settlement in the class action lawsuit Ashker v. Governor of California was … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Policing, Prisoners, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Supporting the Voices Inside: The Freedom Archives

Children With Incarcerated Parents Played Key Role in Phone Justice Victory!

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted recently to cap the rates of phone calls from prisons and jails after years of profiteering by telecommunications companies that have made millions off of those incarcerated and their families. In her comments before … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Community Forum, Human Rights, IMC, National, News, Policing, Politics, Prisoners, UC-IMC, Voices of Color | Comments Off on Children With Incarcerated Parents Played Key Role in Phone Justice Victory!

The Criminalization of Poverty

When most people think of mass incarceration they think of massive prisons–Stateville, Sing Sing, Angola. But mass incarceration has a local face: jails. In our own county Build Programs, Not Jails has fought for three years to halt plans to … Continue reading

Posted in Prisoners | Comments Off on The Criminalization of Poverty

Art Contest for People Incarcerated

TMK Cleaning service is announcing an art contest for those incarcerated! We will accept submissions from January 1, 2016 through April 4, 2016. This is a contest to enter your best art through poetry, short writing, painting etc. Only published … Continue reading

Posted in Prisoners, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Art Contest for People Incarcerated