Grantee book examines parole in the U.S. through the cases of two Illinois men

Veteran Chicago journalist Ben Austen’s new book, “Correction: Parole, Prison and the Possibility of Change,” examines the criminal justice system through the experiences of two teens imprisoned for four decades after murder convictions and repeatedly denied parole. To research the book, with support from the Fund, Austen sat in on parole hearings in Illinois, visited prisons, halfway houses and clemency hearings, and dug into court documents, public records and archives. His book raises a key question about the state of the criminal justice system in the U.S.: When and how can people in prison pay their debt to society and get a second chance? The book was a New York Times “editor’s choice,” and the Washington Post said that it “provides a revelatory lens for examining mass incarceration.”