Who we are and what we do

Stateville Speaks is a newsletter written by and for incarcerated individuals, their families, those working in the correctional system and other interested citizens. It is available to any incarcerated individual that requests it (regardless of their ability to pay), as well as their family members, friends, advocates, activists, and anyone affected by prison conditions. Additionally, it is provided to every Illinois state senator and state representative, as well as every Illinois Department of Corrections’ warden.

Since 2009, the Justice Studies Department has served as the institutional home for the paper, and since that time we have integrated the paper into our course work as an approved internship placement for Justice Studies majors. 

The purpose of the newsletter is to provide a creative outlet—a voice for the voiceless—for those incarcerated in Illinois, as well as to disseminate legislative and legal information. Specifically, the newsletter allows prisoners to have a platform comprised of their essays, letters, and artwork, as well as provide them critical information about legislation and policies. It also allows those that volunteer or contribute to the newsletter to gain a better understanding of the Illinois prison system and the resilience of those that reside within.

Stateville Speaks is currently housed in the Justice Studies Department at Northeastern Illinois University; however, our only source of funding is through subscriptions and donations.

While continuing to produce the newsletter on a dire budget is challenging, the alternative is unacceptable, as we are told oftentimes by our subscribers that the newsletter is their only interaction outside of IDOC. Beyond being just a small prison newsletter, we hope it represents to our subscribers that they are not forgotten and to never give up hope. We also want them to know there are many individuals and organizations fighting for their well-being, for better living conditions, better medical care, better educational opportunities, and most of all a chance for redemption.


Please visit the Stateville Speaks donation page if you would like to help us continue this important work.

Stateville Speaks Archive

Every Stateville Speaks newsletter published since the publication's inception has been converted into PDF format, and can be viewed and downloaded using the links on this page. 

Fall/Winter 2021Summer 2021SPRING 2021Winter/Holiday 2020Summer/Fall 2020Spring 2020Fall/Winter 2019Summer 2019Spring 2019Fall/Winter 2018Summer 2018Spring 2018Spring 2017Winter 2016Fall 2016SUMMER 2016SPRING 2016Special Edition 2015Fall 2015Summer 2015Spring 2015FALL/WINTER 2014Summer 2014Winter Essay 2014Special Edition 2014Spring 2013Fall 2012Summer 2012March 2012May 2011September 2010February 2010August 2009January 2009April 2008March 2008September 2007August 2007April 2007January 2007September 2006August 2006June 2006April 2006January 2006September 2005December 2005August 2005March 2005June 2004