Thank you everybody. Our campaign is now over.
Free Wayne Lindsay!
$1,537 raised
31% of $5k goal
20 contributors
0 days left
Ended May 2, 2019


Wayne Lindsay was born in 1957 and grew up on the southwest side of Chicago in the Englewood neighborhood. He was the middle of five children; his father worked in the shipping and receiving department of Campbell Soup Factory and his mother was a homemaker. Wayne was very close with his siblings growing up. At the age of eight, he was encouraged by his older brothers to join the Disciples- although they operated as a gang, at that time they also organized breakfast and after-school programs for youth and incorporated strict participatory rules including required reading of Afro-centric literature and prayers. 

In the late 1960’s, due to a number of political and societal factors, the group grew foreclosed on neighborhood empowerment and became one of the most notorious and violent street gangs in the city. As a teenager, Wayne was caught up in this evolution and witnessed the Disciples devolve into a violent gang that began to traffic and sell drugs. 

Influenced by life in the gang, Wayne dropped out of school, having only completed the 8th grade. He began drinking and using drugs as he solidified a commitment to a life on the streets. Wayne's life effectively ended at the age of 18, when he, along with others, committed murder of two men and the attempted murder of another in order to prevent them from testifying against a fellow gang member. A horrendous crime that has impacted many lives, including its perpetrators-- all who received a range of 100-300 year prison sentences. 

Shortly after his arrival to prison Wayne enrolled in school and to date has earned his GED, his Associate’s degree in Arts and has accumulated over 180 hours towards two bachelor degrees. It was through the course of this education that Wayne gained the ability to think critically about the choices he made during his young life. He began to question the very foundation on which most of his feelings rested. He came to realize that his belief and loyalty to the Disciples was delusional and that his reality was misguided. This caused him to make a dramatic paradigm shift in his perspective of life. 

Today, Wayne is not the same person he was over 40 years ago. He is 59 years old and has become a deeply thoughtful, gentle, emotive, and kind man. Over his 40 plus years in prison, not only has Wayne vigorously pursued education but he has also cultivated his artistic talents and has begun painting. He has created numerous works of art expressing himself in a positive way. True to his spirit, Wayne also enjoys teaching other inmates to express themselves through painting. Wayne has also found spirituality, self-control and empathy through the Buddhist religion. He attends services weekly, where he practices mindful meditation. This practice has given him the courage to face the reality of his past, to garner a sense of acceptance for the consequences of his actions, and peace despite the circumstances surrounding the life in which he lives. 

Wayne understands his incarceration is the consequence for the irreparable choices he made in his youth. He will never be free from the weight of his culpability, or the deep remorse and sadness for the losses he caused. Yet he strives every day to move forward in the only way he can: by living the life of a pacifist, by observing the world and reflecting it back through his art, and most importantly by serving as a mentor for many young inmates and steering them on a positive and law abiding path. 

Wayne is in the fight for his life as he seeks parole from the Illinois Prison Review Board. He has a solid re-entry plan with housing and a job, and a strong and supportive family that loves him. In addition, Wayne's attorneys Susan Ritacca and Sara Garber are committed to fighting for his release through parole. They represent Wayne pro bono not only because they see Wayne as a reformed and incredible person, but because redemption for Wayne is also redemption for our society-- because our society should strive for and build a world that embraces rehabilitative justice and not in punitive and perpetual retribution.


Wayne Lindsay is a C# inmate incarcerated at Hill Correctional Center and is serving a 300 year sentence for his crimes. In Illinois, there are approximately 125 prisoners currently incarcerated who were sentenced for crimes committed before 1978, under Illinois’ former indeterminate sentencing scheme, which the legislature abolished in 1978. These inmates are referred to as C# prisoners because their prison identification numbers begin with the letter C, with a few exceptions. 

Most C number inmates have been in prison at least 40 years, some as long as 50+ years. Many were convicted for crimes committed as teenagers or young adults. These inmates often would be out of prison had they been sentenced under the determinate sentencing scheme implemented in Illinois in 1978 when the legislature abolished adult parole.


*All funds raised during this campaign will NOT go towards attorney fees. We are lawyers donating our time and will not be profiting off this case. Donations and contributions to the FREE WAYNE campaign will be used to cover costs incurred relating to the case, including but not limited to defense costs, fundraising costs and expenses, costs of shipping, and re-entry costs for when Wayne is released (security deposit, rent, clothes, food, etc). Donations are NOT tax-deductible for the donor.

Activity highlights See all21
Follow this campaign to receive updates by email.

Meet the team

Do you believe in our cause? Join our team!
Position Total raised
Recent contributions