The Friends of Brookens Library at the University of Illinois Springfield have selected Alison Flowers, author of The Exoneree Diaries: The Fight for Innocence, Independence, and Identity, as the guest speaker for the organization’s annual dinner. The dinner portion of the even is for members of the Friends of Brookens Library and the lecture by Flowers is free and open to the public.
John Hanlon, the Executive Director and Legal Director of the Illinois Innocence Project at the University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) will be a special guest at the lecture and will be making remarks.
The event begins at 7:00 pm in the Brookens Auditorium (Lower Level – Brookens Library) on the UIS Campus. A Q/A and book signing will immediately follow.
Through intimate portraits of four exonerated prisoners, journalist Alison Flowers explores what happens to innocent people after the state flings open the jailhouse door and tosses them back, empty-handed, into the unknown.
From the front lines of the wrongful conviction capital of the United States—Cook County, Illinois—investigative journalist Alison Flowers recounts profoundly human stories of reclaiming life, overcoming adversity, and searching for purpose after exoneration.
As she tells each exoneree’s powerful story, Flowers vividly shows that release from prison, though sometimes joyous and hopeful, is not a Hollywood ending—or an ending at all. Rather, an exoneree’s first unshackled steps are the beginning of a new journey full of turmoil and uncertainty. Flowers also sheds new light on the collateral damage of wrongful convictions on families and communities, confronting deeper problems of mass incarceration and the criminal justice system.