Nov 16 Court Date, Financial Struggles, and a Letter from Cody Lee Sutherlin

On November 16, the Tinley Park Five will be attending a 402 conference. This conference will determine whether a non-cooperating plea bargain can be reached for the five or whether the case will proceed to a jury trial. The lengthy jail time the five have already faced combined with the lost income for their households continues to be a burden to the Tinley Park Five and their families and friends.

Covering commissary costs has been a struggle recently. Unfortunately it’s been a couple of months since we’ve been able to justify spending donations on reading materials because keeping up with the cost of food, stamps, phone cards, and writing materials has been a struggle by itself. Any reading materials they received would be appreciated now more than ever.

Thanks to all of you who have thrown parties and benefits for the five. The letter-writing parties provide them with the human interaction they need to keep their heads and hearts in healthy places. Thank you to everyone who’s shared a link, given ten dollars, took time to write a letter, planned or attended a benefit, etc. The support received from so many diverse passionate communities continues to inspire both our imprisoned comrades and those working towards their freedom.

Hello World!

I want to start off by thanking everyone for the solidarity we’ve been shown. I can’t begin to explain what it feels like to be stuck in an institution such as this one, though everyday is made easier by the love, letters, and donations we are receiving out there in the world.

Thanks to all of you that have shown support through benefits and actions in our name. It is rather heart-warming to know that people care about us to the extent of organizing events. I want to thank everyone who has sent a letter or card telling us to keep our head held high and we are not forgotten.

My life has become a series of waiting for letters, commissary  and court dates. If you have written me and not gotten a reply, know that the system is toying with our mail and I probably have not received it. I do my best to respond to every letter. even if it’s just to say “thank you”.

The feeling I receive when a letter comes from somewhere across the country is near overwhelming. From coast-to-coast and everywhere between, thank you. Likewise, thank you to every person who has donated money to the fund.

It is very expensive to be jailed. Multiply that by five and it could put much hardship on our loved ones. It is very costly to order from commissary, but it’s the only way to not go hungry. All of what we eat in a day could be considered a meal and a snack to others, and that’s if those people could even stomach the “food” they serve us. Besides food, we have hygiene and stationary supplies to keep up on as well.

On top of that, phone calls run nearly $7 for a fifteen minute call. If we are forced to call our loved ones without phone cards or a contract in place, that call becomes $10! Thankfully, our lawyers are amazing people, and are only taking money for gas and print quotas. Those are just the day-to-day costs of being a prisoner. In the future, we could have to worry about clothes for trial and possible fines pending the outcome of our case.

So again… thank you to everyone who has been able to donate! If you find it possible to contribute anything, we do and will greatly appreciate it. If you simply can not afford to, we understand and know that your thoughts, letters, and actions are very much appreciated as well.

Lastly, but certainly not in the least. I want to thank all of our loved ones out there to all of the friends and family out there missing us, waiting with open arms, we love you! Thanks again for all of the love and support. Hopefully we can see each other sooner than later on the outside.


Cody Lee
“Tinley Park 5”

Thanks again for your continued support.


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