“The criminal justice system in America is one of the biggest abusers of justice,” – Izell Robinson, a 39-year-old correspondent who has been incarcerated for the last 8 years. He is currently located in MCF Rush City, Minnesota.
Talking primarily about racism in the criminal legal system, Izell has often spoken out against police brutality in Minnesota, including the killing of Daunte Wright by the Brooklyn Center Police Department. Wright was killed during the trial of Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis officer who killed George Floyd.
His recordings fight back against the censorship that incarcerated individuals ordinarily experience. About his commentaries, he stated the following: “I thank Prison Radio for this platform and allowing people in my condition, that’s routinely silenced, the real opportunity to have a voice.”
While confined, he has obtained an Associate of Arts degree from Inver Hills Community College. His belief in a prisoner’s right to education shines through in his commentaries “Now or Never Pt. 1” and “Now or Never Pt. 2.”:
“We must advocate for prisoners’ rights to obtain a college degree while incarcerated. Statistics support that higher education options and participation for incarcerated prisoners reduce recidivism. Moreover, it gives a once hopelessly defeated prisoner like me—stained with a felony making job options minimal and difficult to acquire—a fighting chance.”
Izell has advocated against incarceration as “a new form of commoditized slavery,” something which he feels more Americans need to understand. One recent commentary of his, “Mental Health Awareness Month,” explains how mental health services in prisons are frequently delayed or even denied. His own struggles with anxiety, depression, and trauma have informed his advocacy, which he expresses through lyrical verse, essays, and his remarks as a correspondent.
We are currently working on recording a conversation with Izell and his daughter to discuss the challenges of parenting from prison.
Izell can be contacted by email via JPay at Izell Robinson #210006.
He can receive letters at:
Izell W. Robinson
7600 – 525th Street
Rush City, Minnesota 55609
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We’ve recently updated our website and have created comprehensive profile pages for each of our correspondents like Mumia, Izell, Shakaboona, and every other voice that you’ve been hearing.