By LYNDSAY MACH, Western Courier Editor-in-Chief
GALESBURG, Illinois (WC) – Anthony Walsh, a prisoner at Hill Correctional Center, was just a normal kid when he ended up down the wrong path.
“Before I came to prison, I was a teenager. I was 18. I’d have to say my life just veered off a course based on people that I crossed paths with that altered the trajectory of my life, and I was in high school. I had a job, but when I met those people I got into drugs, and my life kinda fell off course like really quick. And before I could get my life in order and get off the drugs I ended up in prison. I had like a normal life. Work, my family, even though my family wasn’t perfect and I had a semi-dysfunctional family, everything was kinda just a normal life.”
Walsh was sentenced to 35 years in 1998 for accountability to murder, and he has to serve 100% of that time. He was driving a car with gang members when they pulled up on an opposing gang. A passenger got out and shot one of them, and he ended up dying.
Walsh started out at the old Joliet prison which is known for its gothic architecture and Joliet limestone.
“When I walked into it, it’s like a castle. It’s like a medieval times castle, so it was like a real shocker. So in that moment as I was walking to the cell house, I told myself-. At first I was like, y’a know, what the hell did I get myself into, that was the conversation I had in my mind, and I was talking to God. And I set an intention in that moment, that I was going to do whatever it takes to become the best man that I could be.”
After the Joliet prison closed down, Walsh was transferred to Statesville where he spent some time before transferring again. Now, he is serving his time at the Hill Correctional Center in Galesburg, IL.
During his time incarcerated, Walsh has gotten his GED, taken several classes, held different jobs around the prison and gone through barber college. He has worked as a barber most of his time incarcerated, and he even is trusted to cut the staff’s hair. He also took a Hebrew studies class. Religion has helped him through his time behind bars.
Walsh has taken on other roles as well to help fellow inmates. He works closely with the recreation department, including assisting in teaching a yoga class.
He continues to work to better himself during his remaining time in prison.