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  #1  
Old 08-29-2002, 12:36 PM
LisaGarcia LisaGarcia is offline
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Question Marriage in Illinois

Hello Everyone.

My fiancé and I are planning on getting married soon. I want to wait til he gets transferred somewhere else but he has been denied for his transfer twice and we are unsure if he will ever get transferred. He really wants to marry me and I want to marry him also. I'm just wondering if anyone has gone through the marriage thing with their man in Illinois and what were the procedures. Any advise will help me make a decision. I understand we have to fill out a packet but I dont know about anything else really since the chaplain says he will take care of everything. As bad as this may sound, I dont believe the chaplain. Please help!

Thanks! - Your Friend - Lisa
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Old 08-30-2002, 08:53 PM
michelle michelle is offline
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Lisa,
Where in IL. is your man located at and I might be able to help you I just need to know where he's at. Is he on DR, PC, or in Gen. Population? Send me a PM or e-mail me and then I'll be able to tell you.
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Old 09-01-2002, 08:23 AM
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Hi Lisa

I'm not sure if it helps but I know about marriage rules for DR inmates at Pontiac and Menard Prison, both in Illinois.

Please let me know if you are interested.

Otherwise - good luck,
Brena
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Old 09-01-2002, 12:38 PM
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Default Marriage in Illinois

I was married at Menard. First off, my husband talked to the prison chaplain, then he spoke with his counselor. They look at a couple of things, your fiance's security level. Then they look at if he is a trouble maker or has had tickets etc. Then I was given paperwork sent by my husband to fill out. It has to be approved by the Warden. Once it is approved then you set a date with the chaplain and your fiance fills out his paper work for the license. The people came to Menard to get the information. Once that is done, I went to the court house in Chester and paid the $15.00 at that time in 1998 and picked up the license which is good for I believe 30 days. We were married the next day. Our ceremony was beautiful, I was able to have flowers and we had rings with no stones in them for the man, and not an expensive wedding band. But I just got a simple good band for him, but after a while I got a band with more design and more expensive and we exchanged them on a visit, if you know what I mean. If you have anymore questions let me know.
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Old 09-09-2002, 12:40 PM
LaTonya LaTonya is offline
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Talking I got married in Danville IL

My husband and myself got married in Danville prison and there was nothing easy about it. My husband had to talk to the chaplain and then send a request to the warden and wait for his request to be approved,set a date we both can meet with the chaplain and he dont do marriages you have to find some one to do that and i did for a $ 100 dollars which was his friend and we fill out all the info and i had to take it to the court house in that county and let them know he is in prison and the gave me the liscense and we were then marrried so yes dear there is a process,Good luck
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Old 03-20-2004, 10:38 AM
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Roger's Girl Roger's Girl is offline
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Default Marriage in Illinois ???

I found this on the IDOC website. For those us looking to get married ( thought of you first Rose), this may be the place to start.

Rev. William Watts Sr. appointed chief chaplain of Department of Corrections
First African-American to hold this position in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD - March 12, 2004 - Rev. William "Bill" M. Watts Sr. was recently appointed as chief chaplain of the Illinois Department of Corrections. He is the first African-American to hold this position in the state of Illinois.

Born in Chicago, Rev. Watts was raised in North Chicago and graduated from North Chicago Community High School. He served in the U.S. Air Force and was stationed for several years on the island of Crete where he learned to speak Greek.

Rev. Watts is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute and completed further theological studies for ordination certification at North Park Theological Seminary. An ordained minister in the Evangelical Covenant Church since 1983, Rev. Watts serves as a senior pastor of the Gospel Way Covenant Church, which he founded in 1977.

Rev. Watts served in sales and management at Sears, Roebuck and Co. for 11 years and also as deputy director of chapter development for Operation Push from 1983 to 1989. In 1989, he joined Prison Fellowship Ministry as the Chicago area director until his retirement in June 2003. Rev. Watts and Marva, his wife of 35 years, have one son, Bill Jr.

Let's start flooding him with cards and letters.
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Old 03-20-2004, 12:39 PM
Rostonhall Rostonhall is offline
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I read that article, too. It's a good idea but the problem at Menard has absolutely nothing to do with the clergy or IDOC, so he'd not be able to do a damn thing where we are concerned. And the 'we' are those of us who want to marry inmates in Menard.

I'm still waiting for a reply from Gov. Blagojevich after I recently wrote to him asking that he intervene as Ms Patricia Laramore, Randolph County Clerk, is an employee of the State and, ultimately, his responsibility. Needless to say, I'm still waiting for a reply!!! I sent him a copy of the Tribune article about this.

I would like to write to Rev. Watts to complain about the lack of compassion the Chaplains seem to have, as least those I've heard of in the max. prisons, but this article doesn't seem to indicate an address. I supose if I send it c/o Springfield it may get to him.

Rose
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Old 03-20-2004, 05:43 PM
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I think writing to him would be a good thing. I have seen the posts with you explaining its the county clerk at Menard. But Roger has requested permission for us to get married down at Big Muddy, he has heard nothing and it has been a month. He was told he couldnt even get the marriage packet because they didnt employ a chaplian any longer.

I think if we all write him, he very well could bring about the changes we are looking for in the near future.
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Old 03-20-2004, 09:53 PM
jimsenglishgeek jimsenglishgeek is offline
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There seems to be a different excuse at each prison. That's what Rose and I have been complaining about for the past year-+. I am still wondering just how many inmates have gotten married in Illinois since January, 2003. According to Sergio what's his name out of Springfield, historically speaking, only SIX inmates marry each year!!! That's absurd! There are over 100 applications at Menard alone (although as of last summer, only 30 were approved by the Assistant Warden). Still -- 30 at ONE INSTITUTION is a far cry from 6. I've been saying since day one, there is more to it than just the county clerk at Menard. I'm telling you it's a statewide conspiracy. And if that sounds like rampant paranoia, so be it.
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Old 03-20-2004, 10:01 PM
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It usually the things that sound so far fetched that are closer to the truth. I know I have only waited a month compared to the year(s) you ladies have been waiting, so I can only begin to understand your frustration. I think I am going to have Roger start asking around and see if anyone has gotten married there since 2003. I keep saying it and I mean it. Something has got to give.
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Old 03-21-2004, 03:15 AM
Rostonhall Rostonhall is offline
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I agree with both of you and, as soon as I'm back from my visit, I'll be writing this Rev. Watts about the whole situation. I'm also as 'paranoid' as jims, I think this is a statewide ban with different reasons being given at all levels. I only know of one marriage that took place last year, that was Mande who used to be a regular here. She was extremely lucky.

Now, I know that President Bush isn't everyone's cup of tea but I was seriously thinking of writing to him about this as he's always spouting off about the values of marriage and, here we are, all ready to take our vows and accept all the commitment that entails, and all we get is a brick wall in front of us that seems impossible to climb.

I was told this time last year that 45 inmates at Menard were waiting on the County Clerk. That means 45 with permission already granted, they can't even agree the numbers so what hope do we have of getting to the truth.

Rose
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Old 03-21-2004, 08:43 AM
jimsenglishgeek jimsenglishgeek is offline
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I think you should go for it, Rose! Write to Dubya and see what he has to say. Maybe if you offered to let him drill for oil in your backyard. Just keep your letter simple -- no words with more than 5 letters in them and try not to string more than two 5-letter words together. Though I think we'd have more success writing to Bill Mahrer.
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Old 03-21-2004, 10:13 AM
Rostonhall Rostonhall is offline
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Excuse my ignorance, who's Bill Mahrer?? If I do decide to write to Bush I think I'll wait until after my visit. Don't want to find I'm on some list or other and not allowed in the country!!! Something I'm always scared of, believe me.

Rose
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Old 03-21-2004, 01:57 PM
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lol jim's geek
frankly, I do NOT think writing Dubya ( never heard that before!) will help at all. If he had compassion, things wouldn't be so horrible for TX inmates.
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Old 03-21-2004, 02:12 PM
Rostonhall Rostonhall is offline
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It wasn't the compassion I was after Cet, it was the fact that he's making such a fuss over marriage. He even had a week devoted to marriage recently. I had a letter published in the Black Commentator about that. I doubt if I would ever write to him, I really couldn't bring myself to do it. I've so far to the left of him politically, I just couldn't bring myself to ask him for anything. And Tony would never forgive me!!!

Rose
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Old 03-21-2004, 04:34 PM
jimsenglishgeek jimsenglishgeek is offline
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Sorry, Rose. Bill Mahrer is a political comic/talk show host. He has the best show on HBO in my opinion. He can be a bit radical at times, but ultimately is fair. He is neither Republican nor Democrat, leans towards the Democrats though; voted for Nader last election but won't do it this time having seen what happened. He's quite biting and satirical and I like his humor. One thing I don't like about him, though, is that he seems to have short-man complex. He's a little chauvinistic at times, but I'll forgive him that because of his political wit.
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Old 03-21-2004, 05:27 PM
Rostonhall Rostonhall is offline
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Thanks for telling me who he is. Sounds good, I'll have to try to catch his show when I'm over.

Rose
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Old 03-22-2004, 11:08 AM
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Just to make my day well and truly the pits I had a letter from Sergio Molina in reply to the one I sent Gov. Blagojevich. Seems Mr Laramore is denying that she can deputize someone at the prison to do her work. Saying 'The application to marry another individual is a procedure that is required to be processed at a level that cannot be obtained simply dby deputizing an individual not elected by a democratic vote.' So, in actual fact, she's saying she's indispensable. She also said that the Tribune made 'a false statement' when they suggested she could deputize a prison official to do the job. Me thinks the lady doth protest too much!!

Sorry, I give up!!!!!!

Rose
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Old 03-23-2004, 06:03 PM
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You know what Rose, I am impressed that you even got a response from her! You are doing great work! Don't give up!
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Old 03-23-2004, 08:58 PM
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I called the County Clerks office here where I am. I realize things differ from county to county, much less state to state. The one thing that got my attention was..The lady told me that personnel at the prison are not "deputized" to sign the paperwork. All it takes is someone who is recognized by the State of Florida as a Notiary (sp). They are the only people who can notarized signatures.

In the morning, I am going to call every county in Illinois where a prison is located and have them explain to me the procedure of how to handle the paperwork of marrying an inmate. I am also going to call a few more counties here in Florida. What I want is to see just how each county answers the exact same questions. I know they are just whitewashing everything they tell us.

Once I have the answers from the different counties I intend to write a letter to the IDOC asking for an explanation. If all it takes is a notary and a chaplain then what is the problem. We can all hire both..we can foot the expense. I may get the same response you have gotten but I really feel this is an issue that needs to be pushed and pushed. I am not going to let some little old lady that I have never met before tell me that I cant get married. Not happening.
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Old 03-24-2004, 12:01 AM
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I don't mean to throw cold water on your plans but I have done everything that can possibly be done to try to get a license. We first planned to get married in December 2002. This fight has been going on for over a year now.

Go to this website: http://www.idph.state.il.us/vital/forms/marriage.htm and it will tell you what the requirements are for getting married in Illinois. The counties in Illinois require you to show up at the county clerk's office in person, or to have a representative of the county clerk's office come to you.

Ordinarily I would say go ahead and knock yourself out trying, but I hate to see you waste your time traveling paths that have already been well trod by myself and Rose as well. I have spoken personally to the warden twice. I've spoken to Ms. Laramore. I've spoken to the media. I've presented viable options. I suggested they FAX the stupid license to the prison where it could be notarized by any one of several notary publics on staff. No dice. I was told by one warden it would cost the State of Illinois more than $2,000 to take an inmate to the courthouse, and I offered to foot the bill no matter what it cost. No dice. I've written the Governor, called his office, called Springfield. It ain't happening. And nothing's going to happen because nobody gives a damn whether INMATES get married or not. Where's the sympathy going to come from other than from other loved ones of inmates?

I thought the people of Randolph County might like to know their county clerk is abusing her power. After all, she is supposed to serve ALL the people in her county and part of her duty is to issue marriage licenses. But I'm here to tell you, the people of Randolph County are about as backwards a people as you will find in this country. They are still reeling from the 80's and early 90's when the gangs were literally running the prisons and family members of gangs moved into Chester and surrounding communities. They harbor deep resentment towards inmates and anyone associated with them. If Pat Laramore is putting out some BS story about how her dainty little worker bee went to the prison and was put into a locked room all alone with a big bad inmate and was scared out of her tiny little mind -- and mind you, I don't believe for one second that this actually happened because that simply is not and was not the procedure -- then the people of Randolph County are going to back her 110%.

You can call the prison and talk directly to the warden. He's very pleasant and accommodating. He just doesn't do what he promises to do. He placates you and gets you to go away. I picture him laughing even as he puts down the phone.

The county now is also saying that their insurance won't cover them leaving the courthouse and going to the prison. However, Ms. Laramore was photographed on a recent tour of the prison and this photograph was published in the local newspaper which I happened to see on one of my visits. According to the warden, he had hoped the tour with all of its tact team and high security would impress her and assuage her fear. It did not.

Again, I would be very interested to know if ANYONE (besides Mande) has gotten married in a medium or maximum joint in 2003 or 2004. An Associated Press reporter looked into it and got "the line" from Springfield: "This is not a situation in which Springfield is involved. There is only a problem at Menard due to a conflict with the county clerk." Yeah, okay. Whatever.

Do I sound cynical???
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Old 03-24-2004, 12:05 AM
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Just a short comment about the notary public.

Before we got married at Menard we signed a pre-marital agreement. The prisons own notary public, a lady who I think was working in the library, came to see us in the visiting room, we signed the documents in front of her and she notarized them. I was not allowed to bring the documents in, so I sent them to him, he brought them to the visit and on my way out, I could pick them up at the gatehouse.

I'm not sure if this is of any help but if someone is interested, I can PM the name of this person.

Good luck to you girls!
Brena
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Old 03-24-2004, 02:37 AM
Rostonhall Rostonhall is offline
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All jim's says and more. I've been trying for more than a year to get this matter resolved and all it's got me is to have Tony suffer, even if he did tell me to push ahead with it all. It's not coincidence that, yet again after a letter from me to the Governor, Tony's now in seg, NOBODY gets seg for attempting to take their own life. Tony just gave them the excuse they were unable to find earlier. They needed to show me that I'm making too many waves and what better way than to have Tony in isolation just as I'm about to visit.

I was told by another County Clerk that Laramore could deputize someone in the prison to do the work. The Chicago Tribune investigated this and found it could be done but, once again, Laramore says 'NO'

Brena, there are notories all over the prison, not just the one in the library, although I think she's the senior one. A notary can't, as it stands, fill in the forms, that has to be done by an official of the clerk's office, but the notaries could be deputized but we're all caught up in the fact that this woman hates convicts and just won't do anything to help. Randolph County gets money for each and every inmate. They insisted on ALL inmates being included in the last census just to considerably add to the population of the county. They've got all this extra money from the Government and Laramore refuses to use it on the prisoners.


Incidentally, where Ms Laramore and her staff were situated when they were doing prison work is the safest place in the prison, the guard hall, where all the weapons etc. are kept, and the ONLY reason she was left alone with a prisoner is that the nature of her work, being confidential, meant the COs HAD to be just outside the room, the safest room in the prison.

When she went on her tour of Menard with the warden she was in the belly of the prison surrounded by inmates walking, working around and yet no hard came to her!!

Rose
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Old 03-25-2004, 12:24 AM
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Rose, I'm very well aware that notary publics are all over the prison.

Have a safe trip.
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Old 03-26-2004, 02:33 AM
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If only that easy! Which facility is your fiance in??? Mines in Taylorville, Il. and they don't even have a chaplin. The assistant Warden told my fiance ther were 4 days in the year we could get Married Yea right !! I'm with you though so don't give up. #1cub
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