For unknown reasons, the Tinley Park Five are being relocated within the Cook County Jail quite frequently. Some inmates have been moved as many as seven times over the course of the last month. This is causing delays in their receiving correspondence. Books sent from major publishers seem to be getting to them more efficiently than other articles. Before visiting, please make sure to check the Cook County Jail website for visiting hours and current housing location. Their “profiles” on the Cook County Jail website can be reached by clicking on their names on the letter-writing and visitation pages.
We’re unsure of the motivations of these moves. It’s possible that they are purely administrative. The gears of the machine that is the Cook County Jail do turn slowly.
It’s also possible that these moves are a vain attempt to prevent the political prisoners from organizing and bonding with fellow inmates. A copy of People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn was sent to each of the TP5 soon after their incarceration. One of the defendants reports that his copy of the book has people “lining up” to borrow it. Books and zines which do reach the TP5 are being circulated throughout the jail to inmates of all backgrounds. Contrary to the common image of willfully ignorant career criminals perpetuated by our media, prisoners are hungry for knowledge and education. Unfortunately, our “criminal justice” system places minimal emphasis on education and is slashing prisoner’s access to libraries and educational opportunities.
We would like to encourage everyone to continue sending reading materials to the TP5 as well as all prisoners and to consider supporting groups like Books Through Bars and Pages For Prisoners.