I was in Springfield, IL the capital of Illinois, the other day lobbying for better health care in our prisons.

The weather was gorgeous and we actually accomplished our mission… to let the legislature’s know we were watching, and prisoners are people and the responsibility of our government.

I was going to write about what was said that day, but will save it for another day.

I want to write about the people I had the honor to join.

They are amazing.

I had forgotten how wonderful the members of PrisonCore group are, all volunteers, not any with a vested interest, i.e., business or personal gain.

They spent their own money and gave willing of their time to support one of the least popular causes in society.

We were in Springfield to give a voice to those without a voice,. our neighbors whom we would prefer to ignore, prisoners, a few who do not belong in prison, but the vast majority, robbers, drug dealers, rapist and some who have committed crimes that should only exist in the imagination of writers.

The people who have lost their rights to live in our community, but have not lost their ability to feel, who are still human, who think, who hurt, who love, who laugh who cry, who get sick and die, who are the brothers and fathers, sisters and mothers, lovers and sons of our neighbors.

They are our responsibility, they cannot go to a Doctor if they get sick, they cannot even go to the local Walgreens or Wal-Mart to buy some aspirin or a cold tablet, get a band aid or something to settle the stomach.

I was honored to be included, thank you all.

I found this poem on the internet; it is by Felix Dennis, http://www.felixdennis.com,

this is for all of you.

For those who never found it too much trouble

To help their fellow man – nor asked the price,

For those who wield their shovels in the rubble

While scholars scoff at building paradise;

For those who fetch and carry for their neighbours,

Or wash the sick or sit beside the frail,

For those who earn a pittance for their labours,

But never play the martyred tattletale:

For those for whom a word of thanks suffices,

Or deem that it was meant, if never said,

For those who run a mile from fame’s devices,

And hide their medals underneath the bed;

For those who slave in worn out wards and clinics,

Or work beside the nurses, hand in glove,

For those who pay no mind to whining cynics,

Who know the worth, if not the price, of love:

For those who give their lives to teaching others,

Yet never learn the meaning of conceit,

For those who treat the homeless as their brothers,

For men who empty bins and sweep the street;

For volunteers who listen – but don’t lecture,

For coppers who would rather wear no gun,

For juries who can cast aside conjecture

And steel themselves to do what must be done:

For friends who keep their temper, yet stay candid,

For citizens who stand up to the yobs,

For those who bring up children single-handed,

For companies who tailor-make them jobs;

For those who blew the whistle as they hung us,

For those who stood when you and I would fall,

For these, the unsung heroes here among us:

Please raise your glass to bless them, one and all.

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CURE IL’s mission is to hold the Justice System accountable through a transparency policy that will monitor human practices to ensure that the incarcerated are treated with human dignity.