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Mr. Dole is currently serving a life-without-parole sentence after being wrongfully convicted. He continues to fight that con¬viction pro se. He has been continuously incarcerated since 1998. He spent nearly a decade of his life in the notorious Tamms Supermax Prison in complete isolation. Tamms was shuttered in 2012 after an intense campaign by human rights groups and the families and friends of prisoners who were confined and tortured there. Mr. Dole’s first essay, which won him first place in a prison writing contest, was included in the book “Lockdown Prison Heart”(IUniverse, Inc., 2004).
Since then he has written a number of articles, essays, poems, research papers, and legislative proposals, two of which were catalysts for Illinois legislation (a bill and a resolution). He has won four different PEN America Writing Awards for Prisoners.
He has been published in Stateville Speaks Newsletter, Prison Legal News, The Journal of Prisoners on Prisons (Vol.20,No.2, 2010), Graterfriends Newsletter, The Insider Magazine, The Mississippi Review, The Public I Newspaper, as well as numerous places on-line such as www.realcostofprisons.org, PrisonLawBlog.com, and SolitaryWatch.com. Most recently an essay of his was included in the anthology “Too Cruel, Not Unusual Enough” ( www. theotherdeathpenalty. org ).
Mr. Dole is both a jailhouse journalist and a jailhouse lawyer, as well as a watchdog fighting to ensure that Illinois agencies are in compliance with the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.
He is also a member of the National Lawyer’s Guild. Mr. Dole has educated himself by taking dozens of correspondence courses and reading hundreds of books.
You can contact Mr. Dole via snail mail at the following address, and he will respond to all letters he receives:
Joseph Dole K84446
Stateville Correctional Center
Joliet, IL 60434