Stateville Calling Fundraiser

Join Us

Elderly prisoners cost taxpayers billions and are the least likely to reoffend - which is why senior citizen activist Bill Ryan, who already helped to end the death penalty in Illinois, wants to set them free. Join us on August 19th from 3 to 6pm for an afternoon of food, drinks and video installations to support Stateville Calling, our upcoming documentary exploring one man’s fight to offer elderly prisoners facing life without parole a chance for release. We'll also be celebrating Bill Ryan's 83rd birthday. 

Tickets to the event can be purchased at a rolling cost here, with no one turned away, and the event is kindly hosted at Chicago media supporter Len Goodman’s home at 3000 N. Lake Shore. 



Bill Ryan can remember the first time he drove up to Pontiac Correctional Center. It was 1993, and his first time visiting a prison. He was going to meet a man scheduled to be executed in a few days. That visit set Ryan on a path to become a fervent prisoner rights activist.

Scrappers Film Group presents Stateville Calling. At the center of the film is Bill Ryan, an 82-year-old prisoner's rights activist from rural Kentucky who has spent the last several decades befriending and advocating on behalf of a group of men and women incarcerated for life.

The elderly population in jails across the country has been growing at a higher rate than any other group of prisoners, and it's placed a financial and practical stress on a prison system already struggling to provide adequate care to the incarcerated. At the same time, this group of prisoners is the least likely to reoffend if released. Stateville Calling takes the viewer from the Illinois state capitol, to the tobacco fields of Kentucky and inside Logan Correctional Center, the all-women's prison in downstate Illinois, to profile activism efforts working to allow long-term prisoners the possibility of clemency or parole.