For last week’s cover story, we worked with artist and illustrator Yang Pulongbarit-Cuevo, who created a paper cutout to represent the time James Allen has spent languishing behind bars in Illinois.

Allen has been in jail for 30 years on multiple murder charges, but he has been unable to fight his convictions in recent months because Cook County Clerk court clerk lost his records, who’s fighting to overturn convictions that put Dorothy Brown lost his court file. The problem and other bureaucratic snafus have impacted hundreds of other inmates.


Pulongbarit-Cuevo, a Filipina artist who lives on the north side, made six elaborate paper cutouts to create a 3D image that we then photographed. Check out the photos and instagram videos below to see how the process works.

In addition to art, Pulongbarit-Cuevo broadcasts as DJ Yang from 9 PM-midnight Saturdays on CHIRP Radio at 107.1 FM.

You can see more of her work on her website.