Jason Sutherlin of the Tinley Park Five Thanks Supporters and Comrades

JasonSutherlinPicComrades & Supporters,

I want to start by thanking everyone who has taken the time to support us. The letters, books, and visits have been a huge boost during this most difficult time. I have personally received letters from coast to coast, from up north and way down in the dirty south. Big shout out to the Atlanta kids, y’all are the definition of what solidarity is. The hometown crew from Bloomington; you’re amazing and appreciated on so many levels. Chicago ABC, thanks so much, keep the ‘zines coming. A lot of people are excited when they get here.

I know that so many have tried to do so much more only to be turned away by DOC. I know that visits, books, and mail as well as funds for commissary have all been denied or “lost” on a consistent basis. Our mail also gets held both going out and coming in. It’s hard not to get super frustrated when you know people are reaching out and the institution either denies or holds up our correspondence.

It’s a constant battle to keep my head up while here. This place is set up to break people’s resolve to go to a trial. It really is worse than prison and everybody knows it. We are locked in the cell eighteen hours a day. We have no contact visits for fifteen months. We are fed one hot meal a day which is utterly disgusting. the commissary prices are outrageous and steadily rising. I am sending the price list with this letter. Check it out. Of course both our food service and commissary providers are privatized and making a nice profit, no doubt.

I am not writing this to dwell on the negative, when I look around and see that with the support of my community I am in a better situation than many others here. I have an education. I have people who love me and I have a wider community helping me through this struggle. I have not been lost and forgotten in the system and I thank all of you. I promise, I will “pay it forward” and be an advocate for people locked up and without support. They can’t keep me forever.

One thing before I close. Please try to remember when doing prisoner solidarity and ‘zine outreach, that so many incarcerated people have been utterly failed by public schools. We must always remember that education is a privilege as much as race and class and gender. Many genuinely interested brothers have brought ‘zines back without being able to decipher much of the language. I just wanted to throw that in.

I love all of you and draw so much of my resolve and strength from all that you do, as much from those I don’t know from those of you I do know. Maybe more so really. I hope for the best everyday and know this is a temporary situation. Until I am free and EVERY LOCK BREAKS, don’t forget us. We need you and appreciate all that you do. Keep doing what we do. WE ARE WINNING!!

United In The Struggle,

Jason Sutherlin

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