Blog 8-17-17

  • This page has been generating a lot of views since it’s been posted, but I’m guessing that it’s just curious minds or people simply checking out my artwork.  Not only am I looking to open people’s eyes on an awareness level & share my artwork with the world, but I’m also looking to connect with pen-pals who are willing to step out of their comfort zones & reach out to someone on this side of the wall.  If you can put aside the stigma of talking to a prisoner, you’ll be surprised at the minds, talent, & human touch that’s trapped & locked behind these concrete walls.  A stamped envelope, a little chance, and an open mind can help change your whole perspective.  You can leave me a message here or mail me a personal letter via snail mail…my mailing info is at the opening of this page.


    I’m also writing to help promote a couple books that a friend of mine authored (who’s also a former Tamms inmate).  They’re both worth the reading & small investment.  I’ll leave you with the titles at the end of this posting.  Any & all support is definitely appreciated.


    There’s been a lot going on since I last posted.  Mainly and sadly a lot of political theater & empty promises.  That seems to be the Illinois way.  But I’m sure my state isn’t the only state going through this.  We still have a lot of sleeping minds passively watching this all go down.  It took lawmakers in Illinois almost 3 years to finally pass a budget!  Meaning, a lot of social programs were going unfunded and being cut without a care in the world.  From Chicago public schools going unfunded, to state colleges, food programs for the poor and the kids in these schools, mental health programs, domestic violence programs, the list goes on.  What’s mind blowing though, isn’t that these politicians had dragged their feet for 3 years, but that the people of Illinois had allowed these politicians to get away with it.  Where was the outrage and protest?  Why does the protest only come from “some” of those affected by the cuts?  Doesn’t everyone know that you all pay these lawmakers their checks – through your tax dollars?  And for what?  To do what?  To sit around and play politics for years while the people of Illinois (mainly the poor) suffer?  These politicians don’t care who suffers, as long as they get their checks (and get re-elected) they’re happy.  Sleeping minds of Illinois, hopefully you wake up & see this.  Illinois lawmakers can barely get together to pass a budget in almost 3 years, but yet they can come together to pass harsher sentencing laws to lock minorities away even longer.  In the last 3 months, 2 bills have been passed in Illinois to increase sentencing on certain crimes.  First they talk “Prison Reform” to get themselves elected/re-elected into office, then they turn around and do the opposite.  They do this to pull the wool over your eyes & make you think they’re actually doing work and solving the crime wave in Chicago.  But if you take a close look, you’ll see that this tough-on-crime talk by politicians has been going on since the 60’s/70’s…and here we are in 2017 where the talk of the town for Chicago are all the murders taking place & innocent lives being lost.  All of these tough sentencing laws in Illinois, prisons growing more and more overcrowded, yet Chicago has managed to recently been coined “Chi-Raq.”  Shooting & killings are all we hear about on the nightly news concerning Chicago, yet somehow these harsh sentencing laws are supposed to solve the problem & be the answer.  Don’t let these politicians fool you.  For someone coming up in these poverty-stricken neighborhoods, on parole and can’t find a job, hustling trying to feed himself & his family, I guarantee you the last thing on his mind is how much time he’s going to get if he gets caught.  Survival and getting away supersedes everything in this type of environment.  So when these politicians can only offer tougher sentencing laws, while leaving our communities empty & void of any real opportunities to survive & make it, become educated & eventually successful…it shows just how much work they’re willing to put in.  When over-crowding prisons is their only answer, instead of filling our communities with jobs, opportunities, the proper programming and resources, you can expect more of the same.  To the sleeping minds of Illinois, let’s hope you wake up.  And rise up.  Speak up.  And finally, show that you’re fed up.


    Until Next Time,

    The Struggle Continues.




    Titles & Author of Books:


    Supermaxes & Closed Units


    A Costly American Hatred


    Both by: Joseph Rodney Dole II