Category Archives: Prisoners

Education Justice Project Poets (First Installment)

The mission of the Education Justice project is to build a model college-in-prison program that demonstrates the positive impacts of higher education upon incarcerated people, their families, the communities from which they come, and society as a whole.  We  provide upper-division college … Continue reading

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Inmate Poetry

These poems were written by Illinois prison inmates and collected by Urbana Champaign Books to Prisoners. The Public i thanks Books to Prisoners for making them available. We will be publishing more inmate poetry in upcoming issues. For more information, … Continue reading

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Close Tamms Supermax Prison

  Belden Fields “A considerable number of the prisoners fell, after even a short confinement, into a semi-fatuous condition, from which it was next to impossible to arouse them, and others became violently insane; others still, committed suicide; while those … Continue reading

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A Bad Idea: The County Board’s Proposal to Spend $20 Million on Jail Construction

Over the last few months a classic political power struggle has been taking place at Champaign County Board meetings.  At the center of it has been a Board proposal to spend $20 million on jail construction. People from Champaign-Urbana Citizens … Continue reading

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CUCPJ Public Forum on New Jail Proposal

Champaign Urbana Citizens for Peace and Justice Present A Public Forum on: The County Board’s Proposal to Spend $20 Million on a New Jail Speakers: Carol Ammons, County Board member who opposes the jail proposal Members of Decarcerate Monroe County, … Continue reading

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The Sound Before the Fury: The California Prison Hunger Strike

Beginning on July 1, 2011, hundreds of prisoners of all races in California’s Pelican Bay SHU (“Security Housing Unit”) began a historic hunger strike to demand an end to the cruel and inhumane treatment that they suffer under – including … Continue reading

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Rethinking Illinois’ Truth-In-Sentencing Law

We are all aware of the dire fiscal state Illinois currently finds itself in. One of the main causes of this has been years of passing laws without any consideration for the financial costs of their enactment. There is now … Continue reading

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Cruelty to the Mentally Ill

Do you know what goes on behind locked doors at the Champaign County Satellite Jail? You would probably be surprised to find out. For people with serious mental illnesses, the jail policies for dealing with these people amount to cruelty. … Continue reading

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The System of Snitching

“Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law. To declare that the government may commit crimes in order to secure the conviction of a private criminal_would bring terrible retribution.“ —Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, … Continue reading

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The U.S. (In)Justice System Doesn’t Work. The Alternative Just Might

I’VE BEEN THINKING A LOT ABOUT justice lately, pondering the injustice of the way that justice is administered in this country. For years I’ve pointed out and lamented the racial bias evident in both law enforcement and the criminal courts. … Continue reading

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Education vs. Incarceration: The Early Release Program in Illinois

With a current state budget deficit in Illinois of some $13 billion, among the largest in the country, state legislators are making tough decisions about where to save money. Recently, Governor Pat Quinn proposed an “early release” program for prison … Continue reading

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In Defense of Mumia Abu Jamal From the Campaign To End The Death Penalty

The Campaign to End the Death Penalty (CEDP) is appalled by the news that several individuals of leading anti-death penalty organizations have signed a confidential memorandum stating that the “involvement of Mumia Abu-Jamal endangers the U.S. coalition for abolition of … Continue reading

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Tamms CMAX Super-Maximum Security Prison

Imagine being in solitary isolation twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Imagine no telephone calls. Imagine limited visits with loved ones. Imagine the few visits that are allowed to take place happening with no physical contact. Imagine the … Continue reading

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Jails, Hospitals, Hip-Hop

The one-person show, Jails, Hospitals, and Hip-Hop (JH3) by Danny Hoch was presented at spaces across the UIUC campus. Each performance was followed by a discussion with director, Alex Berg-Jacobson, Assistant Director, Keri Carpenter, and actor, Chris Silcox. One night … Continue reading

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You Can’t Jail the Spirit: US Political Prisoners and POWs

COMPILED BY THE PRISON ACTIVIST RESOURCE CENTER. For other Political Prisoner/POW-related resources, go to our political prisoner page. The list is alphabetical. And as of February 2005, there are so many names that we have split off onto separate pages … Continue reading

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National Conference for Prison Book Projects Held in Urbana-Champaign

ON NOVEMBER 3, 2007, a conference in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois brought together 88 participants from 29 different prison book projects across the country. A similar event of this kind has not taken place since a 2002 conference in Philadelphia. Participants shared … Continue reading

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Torture Exposed in the Champaign County Jail

Many are now familiar with the infamous story of Sergeant Jon Burge in Chicago. In 2002, it was found that Sgt. Burge and his underlings had tortured over 150 Black men in Chicago jails. Burge had used a hand-cranked army … Continue reading

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The Injustice System in Champaign County

Recent events have convinced me that the justice system in Champaign County is skewed against the African American population and should be more properly referred to as an injustice system. There have been excessive charges against blacks, retaliatory prosecution and … Continue reading

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Five Deaths at County Jail

With the death of Quentin Larry on May 28, now five inmates have died in the Champaign County Jail over a three year period. Individuals should not die in police custody – even if they are drug addicts. Citizens must … Continue reading

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Looking for Martha: The Mess Behind Bars

The Alderson Federal Prison Camp i n West Vi rginia looks to have solved the problemthat has beset modern penal policy for hundreds of years: recidivism. Its progressive plan of image rehabilitation has now set free a series of media … Continue reading

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