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Inside F-House, the roundhouse at Stateville Correctional Center. Officers look out from the tower into the inmates’ cells. The cells are configured to wrap around the tower. One officer was badly burned when an inmate threw a Molotov cocktail from the floor into the Guard Tower. Stateville Correctional Center, Joliet, Illinois, 1990.




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Photo by Lloyd DeGrane
Photo by Lloyd DeGrane
Inmate in shower, Cellblock B-East. Stateville Correctional Center, Joliet, Illinois, 1992.








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Photo by Lloyd DeGrane
Photo by Lloyd DeGrane
Officer handcuffing inmate after his hour in the exercise yard. Stateville Correctional Center, Joliet, Illinois, 1992.









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Photo by Lloyd DeGrane
Photo by Lloyd DeGrane
In the processing center an inmate waits to be assigned to a cellblock upon arrival at Stateville Correctional Center. He told me that he hadn't slept for two and a half days. Joliet, Illinois, 1993.







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Photo by Lloyd DeGrane
Photo by Lloyd DeGrane
An officer patrols the catwalk in Cellblock B-East. Only officers assigned to walk the catwalk are armed; officers who are on the floor with inmates are unarmed. Stateville Correctional Center, Joliet, Illinois, 1993.







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Photo by Lloyd DeGrane
Photo by Lloyd DeGrane

Prison
Photographs by Lloyd DeGrane

November 17, 2011–February 11, 2012


Prison: Photographs by Lloyd DeGrane features 75 candid black-and-white shots taken over a lengthy period, from 1990 through 2001, by the Chicago-based photographer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Reader and other national and international publications. The exhibit is a journey into the incarceration experience – from its beginning at Cook County Jail where the accused await trial, through the Joliet Receiving Center where the newly convicted are processed, and finally into the maximum-security Stateville Prison where inmates serve their time.

While capturing the human side of life amid inhumane conditions, DeGrane also corresponded regularly with Simon "Sam G." Gutierrez, who, at the time, was serving time for bank robbery at Stateville, and whose letters and poetry about life inside Stateville are a key ingredient of the exhibit. “The letters tell the story from an insider’s perspective of what life is like inside prison, and they are the glue that holds the story together,” said DeGrane.

This particular journey included a riot so close and personal I came away with blood on my shoes. It also included a private photo session with a mass murderer. More than anything, it involved countless days throughout the years spent in the company of rapists, thieves, and armed robbers—sinners of the highest order—and even a few saints, tormented minds turned artists, and people falsely accused, all doing ‘hard time.’ In all of this I realized that most of us still wanted the same things, freedom and the light of the outside world. —Lloyd DeGrane, October 2011


Press about the Exhibition


Exhibition made possible by generous financial support from Susan B. Rubnitz.
Sponsored by Roosevelt’s College of Arts and Sciences, the Mansfield Institute for Social Justice and Transformation, and the Joseph Loundy Human Rights Project.