1 Northeastern Illinois University (UNITED STATES)
2 Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Foundation (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 6396-6402
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain
"Stateville Speaks" is a newsletter published through a collaboration between Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) and the Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Foundation (Montgomery Foundation). NEIU, located in Chicago, is one of the twelve public universities in Chicago and is recognized by US News & World Report as the most diverse university in the Midwest. The Montgomery Foundation is an advocate for prison reform in a country that incarcerates the largest percentage of its population in the world.

The purpose of "Stateville Speaks" is to raise awareness among the Illinois prison population about their own community, that of prison inmates. The newsletter is researched and written by both NEIU students and by prisoners themselves. The intended reading audience of "Stateville Speaks" is the prison population, although it is far more widely distributed. Articles have included “Going straight to the top: an interview with the new Director of the Illinois Department of Corrections,” “Cruel and unusual soy punishment: the force-feeding of inmates,” “The impact of crime on victims: an interview with the head of ‘Parents of Murdered Children’,” and “Mothers speak out about Tamms: What is Illinois’ supermax prison doing to their sons’ mental health?”

This newsletter has proved to be a springboard for emerging innovations in higher education. Among these are, a panel of former inmates including those both wrongfully and rightfully convicted; a “mini” "Stateville Speaks" for high school students; research on public school students who have incarcerated parents; motivational interviewing; student internships for advanced literacy; and initiatives to prevent minority students from dropping out of school and entering the school to prison pipeline.