I need your help. I co-founded the Prison Policy Initiative to put the problem of mass incarceration — and the perverse incentives that fuel it — on the national agenda. Over the last 16 years, our campaigns have protected our democracy from the prison system and protected the poorest families in this country from the predatory prison telephone industry. Our reports untangle the statistics and recruit new allies.

But now, more than ever, we need your help to put data & compassion into the conversation.

Thank you.
—Peter Wagner, Executive DirectorDonate

Scholar and writer James Kilgore to remain at Univ. of Illinois

We applaud the University for doing the right thing and retaining a valuable member of the academic community.

by Leah Sakala, November 14, 2014

It’s a good day for the University of Illinois: the University will continue to benefit from our colleague James Kilgore’s accomplished scholarship and acclaimed teaching.

The university had originally decided not to renew Mr. Kilgore’s contract after the local newspaper published a series of attack pieces about his decades-old criminal record from the 1970s. The University of Illinois was fully aware of Mr. Kilgore’s history during the hiring process, and Mr. Kilgore received overwhelmingly positive performance reviews throughout the years that he has been on faculty.

The university’s decision sparked a groundswell of support for Mr. Kilgore, both from the University of Illinois faculty, staff, and students, and from the national community of scholars and advocates who have benefited from his work. We submitted a letter back in May urging the university Chancellor to not allow journalistic fear-mongering to lead the university to dismiss an accomplished faculty member.

Today, the University of Illinois Trustees announced that they would follow a special committee’s recommendation to keep Mr. Kilgore on staff. We applaud the University for doing the right thing and retaining a valuable member of the academic community.

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