This essay is part of our series Voices from the Inside, which asks individuals who are currently incarcerated in Illinois county jails the question: What kind of world do you want to return to?
“I believe that all in our society (including felons) should have an equal voice when it comes to how laws are passed and carried out. I don’t believe that felons should suffer after they have served their sentence and have paid their debt to society. Felons are continuously given punitive treatment by the criminal justice system even decades after their prison sentence has been served. I would like to see jails and prisons shift their culture to a reformative outlook for inmates rather than a punitive one. I think if we remove the public stigma associated with being a felon, society will be less apprehensive to accept felons back into the community, making it easier for felons to find housing and employment, and to shy away from reoffending.”
—Anonymous, Kendall County Jail, Illinois