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Echoes of Stir: Four Hours in Joliet

Photo by Donnacha Kenny"Congratulations, Tom; you're one of the lucky eight per cent!" —Stir of Echoes (1999)Joliet, Illinois is probably the American city which more people have dreamed more fervently of escaping than any other. But after spending four hours in 'Prison Town'—long synonymous far and wide with incarceration—I was sad to leave; I'll be glad one day to return. Fortunately, such matters are questions of personal choice. Many of the area's residents, including those not serving custodial sentences, have little realistic option but to remain—trapped by personal, social and/or economic circumstances that can feel as confining as any 6-by-8 cell. "Joliet, or "J-Town", is racially diverse and is known as a crime-ridden city, although the area has shown much improvement since the 1990's... The east side is generally known as the ghetto side and the west side is known as middle class, even though

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