You are reading a rare, detailed account of everyday life in Stateville Prison.

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Memoirs of a Prisoner

Hello. This is my first post to this site. My name is Paul, and I am 34 years old. I am serving a natural life without parole sentence for being held accountable for a murder. I have been incarcerated for over 16 years, and I will probably be here for many more, if not until my death.

I intend to write about my life at the prisons I have lived, once a week. If you like, follow along and learn what it is like to walk in my shoes.

I have seen many tours of people come through the prisons. Some are groups of college students who come to see the cell houses and prison grounds as a part of their studies. Others tour because they are simply curious to see what it is like in Illinois' maximum security prisons. Stateville is completely shrouded behind 30 foot high concrete walls, accompanied by razor wire and gun towers.

During my many lonely years of incarceration, I have corresponded with many people in the US and across the world. It has become apparent to me that there is a lot of curiosity about life in prison. People want to know what it is really like to live behind these walls, locked doors and bars, without any of the sensationalism or misinformation of television. Thus, my idea to begin this website.

This will be like a journal where I will write about my experiences. It will be subjective but also objective, entirely honest, and without embellishment. I will write as if this is my private journal although it will be shared with all of you. If you like, you can post your own comments and messages via the email account. At times, I will be sent copies of these messages via regular mail, as prisoners have no access to computers or the Internet. At times, I may respond in a post in an indirect fashion. However, the basis of my writing is to put my thoughts and experiences to record without outside interference.

Each week, I will cover a new event or subject. My life can be monotonous at times, but for the sake of keeping the material fresh and of interest, I will attempt not to repeat subject matter. The following is the story of my life. I invite you to come along with me.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Getting ready for Paul's first post


We are getting this blog ready for Paul's first post. He is very excited to be starting this blog. To make his posts, he writes with a tiny pencil -- the prison considers normal sized pencils and pens to be possible weapons. The prisoners are not allowed to have pencil sharpeners, so he must pick off the wood with his fingernail to get a point he can use to write. He mails his post to a friend, who will type it in here. We hope you enjoy reading what Paul has to say.