Writing from Prison
Nicolas Lampert - Just Seeds Portfolio Project
These essays were sent to the Real Cost of Prisons
Project by men who are incarcerated. Additional essays and
other writing will be added.
We encourage you to contact the writer directly if you
like their work and/or want to use his/her work. If no
contact information is available, please contact
To submit political and analytical writing, please send
to The Real Cost of Prisons Project. There is no payment
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For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
or mail to:
Real Cost of Prisons Project
5 Warfield Place
Northampton, MA 01060
If friends, family and
others have access to a computer, please send writing as a
Word document or an email.
Bro. Ismail Abdul Hakim Akbar
DC728085/0-1-115SU, Gulf Correctional Institution Annex, 899 Ike Steele Road, Wewahitchka, FL 32465
C-61243, P.O. Box 4430, A1-139, Lancaster, CA 93539
James M. Anderson
#12058943, 2605 State Street, Salem, OR 97310
By an anonymous MA prisoner, 2/22/2011
RIP March 9, 2015
T. Lamont Baker
Great news! Tyrone Lamont Baker is FREE!!!! The judge vacated his sentence.
A Convict's Perspective: Critiquing Penology and Inmate Rehabilitation (Paperback)
by T. Lamont Baker (2014) "Baker sees that A Convict's Perspective is poised to disrupt and refine the ways in which traditional penologists, criminologists, and prison officials view, approach, and seek to actualize prisoner reform. He now sees the role that his writings can and should play in the evolution of penology as a field of study. This vision is most appealing to him. This vision is what is compelling this self-taught Millennial to transform the prison system; it's what makes him believe that prison can go from being a criminogenic gladiator school to being a radical organic university that creates high-quality, law-abiding citizens."
Love Me Into Helping Myself: The Virtues of Extra-Penal Support
The Court Is Allergic to Prison
N20189, Stateville Correctional Center, P.O. Box 112, Joliet, IL 60434
SID# 11123024, Oregon State Correctional Institution, 3405 Deer Park Drive, S.E. Salem, OR 97310
Lifers Archives: our words, our stories, our voices
Lifers Archives is an oral history podcast where incarcerated people have open and candid conversations about their experiences behind prison walls. It is a way for the public, family, friends, and loved ones to hear how incarcerated people cope with their confinement in positive ways. Their goal is to change not just their lives, but their environment, for the better.
Lifer’s Archive is produced and edited entirely by Jacob Barrett incarcerated at the Oregon State Correctional Institution.
Cycle of Criminalization
Youth and Prison Culture
Interview on 20 years in solitary confinement
Oregon parole board chairman out after inmates raise questions about his application
May 2, 2019. By Noelle Crombie | The Oregonian/OregonLive
Opening Up To Students
Car and Bike Shows in Prison
Barrett v. Peters, 360 Or 445 (2016)
Oregon Habeas Cognizable to Challenge Confinement in Florida and Colorado Under Interstate Compact
This is a case brought and argued by Jacob Barrett and is being heard in the OR Supreme Court. (Prison Legal News, October 2016)
The Florida Department of Corrections Carries on the U.S. Tradition of Oppressing Native Americans
The Lessons of Dallas
No More Training: That Should Cure the Problem
Our Enemies in Blue
Court Update, June 23, 2016
In Memory of the Orlando Souls
A Few Points
Exiled in Purgatory: Solitary Confinement Is Physical Starvation By Another Name
Published in Inside Time, the UK's "National Newspaper for Prisoners and Detainees," November 30, 2015
Letter to a reporter
on his life in prison, solitary, and more.
Muslims Are Not the Problem
I Fear The Police More...
Building a Culture of Corruption
Update on OR Court of Appeals: November 16, 2015
The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From McCarthy
Oregon Court of Appeals Ruling. Barrett (pro se) v. Peters, Director of OR DOC
Ruling in Jacob's favor concerning the treatment of OR prisons held on interstate compact.
October 7, 2015. The OR DOC is appealing to the OR Supreme Court. The DOC brief is due Dec. 10, 2015 to overturn the Appeals Court decision.
Recognizing the Past in Today's Politics
Exiled in Purgatory: Killing Our Children
Exiled in Purgatory: More Insanity
Ireland Has Spoken
Clipping from The Irish Echo newspaper, September 2-8, 2015
Flowers in the Dark
Exiled in Purgatory: We're All Animals
Exiled in Purgatory: Justice Denied
Exiled in Purgatory: Still
Exiled in Purgatory: National Inferiority Complex
Exiled in Purgatory: Controlled Feeding
Exiled In Purgatory: A Failed System
Truth, Justice, and White Supremacy
Letter to Black and Pink
Privatized health and prisons
Religion Used for Hate
Response to Mary S
Mr. Clair L. Beazer
Great news! Clair is no longer in prison.
Marcus Bedford is no longer incarcerated.
Some of his cartoons can be found on our Comix from Inside
According to author Marcus A. Bedford Jr., White
America could be blamed for all the problems of Black
Americans two hundred years ago. Today, however, more
of that blame rests on the shoulders of the Black
community itself. In "Niggerable Offense: Are you a
Violator?", the author takes a closer look into slavery
and how a "niggerable offense" continues to cripple
their culture to oblivion.
Orlando Corey Bell
#1093797, Ware Corr. Inst., 3620 Harris Road, Waycross, GA 31503
CDC #G50077, Bed: Dr/211, P.O. Box 4670, Lancaster, CA 93539-4670
270679 W.C.C. AT 105 IMU P.O. Box 900 Shelton, WA 98584
Mr. Akil Brown
F54496, ASU 1/152, P.O. Box 3456, Corcoran, CA 93212
W100579, MCI Plymouth, P.O. Box 207, S. Carver, MA 02366
Smart Communications/PADOC, Keith Burley Jr., EC0000, SCI Fayette, P.O. Box 33028, St. Petersburg, FL 33733
16118143, OSCI, 3400 Deer Park Drive SE, Salem, OR 97310
#95A6664, Green Haven Correctional Facility, P.O. Box 4000, Stormville, NY 12582-0010
Smart Communications/PADOC, Jerome Coffey, AS-1558, SCI Albion, P.O. Box 33028, St. Petersburg, FL 33733
Various letters and documents, 7/09
7-2-09 Letter concerning the drain of taxes from Philadelphia to supporting prisons in rural PA.
Article on $13.5 M from stimulus package for policing in Philadelphia
7-13-09 letter: legislation driven by ALEC and the cost of prisons to communities in PA
Memo to SCI Greene on mental and emotional tortore to Jerome Coffey in RHU for 8 years.
Chart of Distribution of Juvenile LIfers in SCIs in PA, 7/09
C-45857 D4-104L, P.O. Box 5242, Corcoran, CA 93232
San Quentin Prison, P.O. Box E-22600 (1E69), San Quentin, CA 94974
W103769, MCI Norfolk, P.O. Box 43, Norfolk, MA 02056
K84446 Stateville Correctional Center, P.O. Box 112, Joliet, IL 60434
Joe Dole and Angela Davis at his commencement from the University Without Walls, Stateville Prison, IL. May 2019. Dole and Davis were commencement speakers.
Campaign for Corrective Clemency
This detailed and researched book and manual for action is useful to people working on expanding clemency nationwide. "Learn about the injustices embedded in sentencing practices in Illinois and the actions you can take to support the Campaign for Corrective Clemency. The Campaign for Corrective Clemency seeks to convince Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker to exercise his executive clemency powers in an expansive manner to address the historical harms and injustice of mass incarceration, and thereby bring the State one step closer to being the “beacon of humanity” he said he seeks to turn Illinois into. With thousands of men and women in Illinois currently sentenced to death by incarceration, it’s time for Governor Pritzker to use his powers to rectify past injustices that thousands of people continue to suffer from."
Counting All Political Prisoners
A proposal to revise our notion of who is a “political prisoner” in the age of mass incarceration
By Joseph Dole. October 2020. RPA Mag, A publication of the Radical Philosophy Association.
The Right to Vote Should Be Available to Everyone — Including Prisoners Like Me
Truthout, October 24, 2021
Death by Incarceration in Illinois
in the Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy
The No Kickbacks Report
On June 23, 2021, Parole Illinois and The Real Cost of Prisons Project released a hard-hitting report exposing how the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) financially exploits people in prison and their loved ones. The report, No Kickbacks, was written by Joseph Dole, policy director and co-founder of Parole Illinois, who is currently serving a life sentence at Stateville prison. Using the IDOC’s own financial records, the report documents how the IDOC annually reaps millions of dollars in commissions off the backs of people in prison and their loved ones. If you are able, please download the report here, print and send it to your friends and loved ones who are currently incarcerated.
The Case For Why 'Violent Offenders' Deserve Parole
Joe was finalist for a Media For A Just Society Award from Evident Change for this essay.
Counting All Political Prisoners: A proposal to revise our notion of who is a “political prisoner” in the age of mass incarceration
October 9, 2020 A publication of the Radical Philosophy Association
No One Should Have to Die in Prison
TruthOut, 7/4/2020. A version of this article was delivered by Joseph Dole at “A People’s Tribunal: COVID-19 and the Crisis of Death by Incarceration,” a Zoom webinar that took place June 4, 2020. The event was organized by a coalition of groups led by Parole Illinois, an inside-outside prison project addressing the effects the long-term incarceration.
Listen to a recording of Dole reading the statement at YouTube.
Joseph Dole for The People's Tribunal - June 2, 2020
Here is an opportunity to listen and learn from the brilliant organizer, writer and jailhouse lawyer, Joseph Dole, co-founder and policy director of Parole Illinois, speaking from Stateville Prison on June 2, 2020 at the People's Tribunal.
Video of Illinois Coalition for Higher Education in Prison meeting
Video of Joe Dole at Stateville presenting at the IL-CHEP (Illinois Coalition for Higher Education in Prison) meeting
Smiling Behind the Sun: An Interview with Joseph Dole
Written by Michael Fischer
Incarcerated Activists Raise the Bar on Parole
by Joseph Dole and Shari Stone-Mediatore. The Public I. June 2019.
Parole Reform White Paper
by Sarah Aagard, Rosalind Dillon, Joseph Dole, and Raul Dorado. December 27, 2018.
Illinois House Resolution for the creation of a Truth-in-Sentencing Review Task Force
Myths About “Violent Offenders” Compromise True Safety
Open Letter to Governor Rauner from the Stateville Debate Team
Debate on bringing a parole system to Illinois
On March 21, the Stateville Correctional Center Debate Team, hosted a public debate about bringing a parole system back to Illinois – one of two states which currently does not have parole. This is a speech given by Joe Dole.
Incarcerated Illinoisans Have a Right to Review Their “Master Files”
Why Illinois' House Bill 531 or Any Parole Bill or Sentencing Reform Should Be Retroactive
Op-Ed, Sunday, February 11, 2018 By Joseph Dole, Truthout
Yard Time with the Animals
can also be read online at Dole's Minutes Before Six blog.
Book Review: Crook County: Racism and Injustice in Americas Largest Criminal Court
Review of Crook County: Racism and Injustice in Americas Largest Criminal Court (Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve, Stanford Law Books Stanford University Press, 2016 ISBN: 97808004790437). By Joseph Rodney Dole II. Prison Writers.
Joseph Dole delivering his paper via phone at the Philosophy of Incarceration conference at Villanova University
Why It’s Imperative That Illionois Prisons Offer College Courses
Shutting Down the Panopticon: A Report From Inside the Stateville Correctional Center
December 08, 2016. By Joseph Dole, Truthout.
Blog entry, 11/2016
Control Units & Supermaxes: A National Security Threat
Unbeknownst to the majority of the public, isolation chambers in prisons have proliferated over the past few decades to the point where 100,000 people or more are being held in long-term solitary confinement on any given day in the United States. Even less known by the average citizen is the serious threat supermax prisons and control units pose to the country as a while. They not only severely affect those entombed inside them, but also the guards who work in them, and the communities those prisoners and guards return to. Control Units and Supermaxes: A National Security Threat details those affects and threats as well as the experiences of several states' efforts to reconsider the practice.
Publication Date: June 2016
Abolish Long-Term Solitary Confinement: It's A Threat to Public Safety
Call to Arms for Education
by men who are incarcerated at Stateville prison.
The Perfect Cellie
Joseph Dole's Facebook page
A Costly American Hatred
A Costly American Hatred is an in-depth look at how America’s hatred of “criminals” has led the nation down an expensive path that not only ostracizes and demonizes an ever-growing segment of the population, but is also now so pervasive that it is counterproductive to the goals of reducing crime and keeping society safe, wastes enormous resources, and destroys human lives. Anyone who is convicted of a crime (and many who aren't convicted, but only charged) is no longer considered human in the eyes of the rest of society. This allows them to be ostracized, abused, commoditized, and disenfranchised. The rest of society sanctimoniously rejoices in all of it, with a self-righteous “they deserve it” mantra. It does nothing to lessen crime though. Instead, it more often than not increases crime, tears at the fabric of society and individual families, and creates a permanently impoverished “criminal” underclass. Most people are unaware of just how awry our criminal justice policies have gone. A Costly American Hatred seeks to educate people on how pervasively society ostracizes people who fall into the clutches of the criminal justice system and the toll it is taking on our country.
Death in Prison: the Top 3 Killers
The Chicago Police Department: At the Pinnacle of Police Corruption, and A Menace to Society
Rethinking Illinois' Truth-in-Sentencing Law
Prisoners (1), poem, 8/15/2013
A Waste, poem, 4/8/2013
PIC, poem, 3/26/2013
American Supermax (poem, 2008)
The Prison Diary of Joseph Dole
Illinois Abolishes the Death Penalty
Proposal for A Cost-Conscious Criminal Legislation Act
The Meaning of Life
IDOC Bilks Illinois Prisoners
Rethinking Illinios' Truth-in-Sentencing Law
Criminality: Evil or Environmental?
Juvenile Adults This essay is a recent PEN Award.
Unilaterally Punitive This essay won a PEN Award and is a forthcoming issue of The Journal of Prisoners and Prisons.
Drawing of Native American by Joseph Dole
Also, from the New Research and Papers section:
Preliminary Findings Concerning the Financial Costs of Implementing Illinois Truth-In-Sentencing Laws (2002 – 2004)
January 11, 2011. Prepared by: Joseph Rodney Dole, II. Joseph Rodney Dole, II is a prisoner at Tamms Supermax Prison. He can be contacted at: Joseph Rodney Dole II, K84446, Tamms Correctional Center, 8500 Supermax Road, Tamms, Il 62988
W80257, MCI Cedar Junction, DDU, P.O. Box 100, South Walpole, MA 02071
1111 Highway 73 Moose Lake, MN 55767
Old Colony Prison, Bridgewater, MA
W58410, 1 Administration Road, Bridgewater, MA 02324
#31372, WMCI, 7076 Rd. 55 F, Torrington, WY 82240
98A6674, Attica Corr. Facility, Box 149, Attica, NY 14011-0149
V01102 C2103L, Mayo CI, 8784 West U.S. 27, Mayo, FL 32066.
Luis (Levy) Gonzalez
T-67569, Cell # 4132, CA Men's Colony State Prison, P.O. Box 8101, San Luis Obispo, CA 93409-8101
Rand W. Gould
C-187131, Cooper Street Corr. Facility, 3100 Cooper Street, Jackson, MI 49201
Kristopher J. Govea
F17942, CA Correctional Institution, 4B-4A-111, P.O. Box 1906, Tehachapi, CA 93591
Eddie Ray Gray
JL-6615/SCI Mahanoy, Smart Communications/PA DOC,P.O. Box 33028, St. Petersburg, FL 33733
How Big Do You Want Your Cell?: Real Reasons To Avoid State Prison
Peeling the top off his first 12 years in prison, Eddie Ray Gray gives you an intense read. You'll not only learn what it's truly like to be incarcerated from day one, but also why you'll never want to experience it yourself. This is the book every at-risk teenager must have, and every adult who wants to keep someone they know out of prison needs to read. Put on a parachute and double check the rip cord. You're about to dive into a world often not adequately portrayed, until now.
K69488, Stateville Corr. Center, P.O. Box 112, Joliet, IL 60434
“Subconsciously Unconscious” spawns from the author’s hopes, visions and desire to see “African Americans” prosper beyond economical positions, but sociological as well. This book deals with a variety of topics, such as the educational system, the political system, the religious system and the judicial system to name a few. All of these institutions seem content with the 3rd or 4th class citizenship “African Americans” suffer with. This book deals with ideas, which if applied, the author believes that this hook could alter and reverse much of the problems our communities deal with on a daily basis in life.
Dirk E. Greineder, M.D., Ph.D., Norfolk Lifers' Group
W69690, 4-2 / MCI Norfolk / P.O. Box 43 / Norfolk, MA 02056
Lifers' Group Fast Facts: Stunning Escalation of Incarceration Cost in MA Department of Correction (April 2023)
Lifers' Group Fast Facts: MA Juveniles Convicted of First-Degree Murder Have Not Re-Offended When Paroled
List of 33 child lifers paroled 3-19-2015 to 2-23-2023
MA Criminally Sentenced Population by Sentence, Age and Group 1-1-21
Brief notes from Dirk Greineder concerning women: "The tables (and figure) include women. Mostly its the criminally sentenced jurisdiction population. The figure is actually the custody pop. Data on women from the Dec 6, 2021 Weekly Count sheet which shows 160 women at Framingham in regular beds and 15 more in Support beds (hole or medical or other restricted beds). As of 1/1/2021 there were 200 females in the jurisdiction pop, 168 criminally sentenced, 31 pre-trial, and 1 civil commitment. For the record, as of 1/1/2021 there were 24 2nd degree and 25 1st degree women in the DOC, plus 9 more doing 20+ years. So 58 of the women are doing long sentences. Amazingly, the peak age of committing first degree murder in MA is 20 and median age is 25. Secondly, as shown in the composite table, the population of LWOP is aging very rapidly, with 55% now aged over 50 years old. LWOP prisoners in MA now account for 18.4% of all prisoners, double the percentage in 2011."
Census of MA First Degree LWOP prisoners 1/1/09 to 12/31/21
LWOP Prisoners Age at Time of Crime
Ages of Criminally Sentenced Populations by LWOP and other sentences 1-1-11 through 1-1-22
Female and Male Criminally Sentenced Prisoners in the MA-DOC by Sentence, Age and Group, 1/1/22
The Cruel Aging of Massachusetts Life-Sentenced Prisoners: Practical, Economic and Moral Consequences
By Dirk Greineder, A Lifers' Group Report. January 2022. Contents: A Surge of Elderly Prisoners; Life Without Parole sentences Fuel the Aging of Prisoners; High Covid-19 Morbidity and Mortality; Falling Prisoners Numbers a Cruel Hoax; A Surplus of Life-Sentenced Prisoners; Young Men Murder But Old Men Do The Time; Economic Consequences of an Aging Prison Population; The Collateral Economic Burdens of Incarceration; Considerations Regarding Recidivism and Release of Aging Prisoners; .Needs and Roles of Crime Survivors
Norfolk Update August 22, 2021
"Although one might conclude that this caution was necessitated by ongoing concerns about infection, it is important to remember that throughout the pandemic the DOC has insisted that hundreds of prisoner workers from all units congregate indoors in Industries, Maintenance, and canteen as well as in staff and janitorial and culinary areas on a daily basis. These workers, after extensive exposure to parsimoniously vaccinated staff, then daily return to their regular housing units and expose all other prisoners."
Fast Facts: Cost of 1 year of incarceration in the DOC
Norfolk Lifers' Group: Fast Facts: The Drastic Reduction in Granting Lifer Parole at Initial Hearings: Capricious or Deliberate?
By Gordon Haas and Dirk Greineder for the Lifers' Group July 2021. Hearings from 2004 through 2020. Questions or comments can be sent to Dirk Greineder, at the address above.
Norfolk Update May 14, 2021
"Collateral consequences of renewed infections are borne by all prisoners. Once again all are confined to units (except for deliberate use of prisoner workers). Education and programming is stopped. Yard access is reduced and libraries and gym remain closed. Prisoner interactions are eliminated except with those in ones own unit. Because of the DOC's inability to educate or impose necessary measures upon prison staff, prisoner well-being and rehabilitation re once again threatened by this totally predictable failure. "
Norfolk Update April 30, 2021
"There can be little doubt that prisoner engagement in constructive activities and behaviors is at an all-time low, severely interfering with the little rehabilitative programming offered. The current situation is nothing other than simple, mindless warehousing of prisoners-85% of whom must eventually be released into the community. Never before has the Department of Correction been allowed to so completely failed its mission to safeguard prisoners and to provide education and rehabilitation for prisoners as required by Massachusetts law." - Dirk Greineder
Norfolk Update 3-15-21
"To sum up, after failing to effectively protect prisoners from the damaging ravages of Covid-19 infection, the DOC now perpetuates fruitless isolation polices that are rendered meaningless by the self-serving use of captive labor, cancelling any benefits of isolation."
"It is imperative to reopen prisons and normalize operations...."
Without a Rational Plan: How and Why the Massachusetts DOC Caused Covid-19 To Rage State Prisons
This is a chilling 6 page report by Dirk Greineder on behalf of the Norfolk Lifers' Group.
Sections include: Failure to Plan, Crowding, Lockdown, Prisoner Workers Deployed, Testing, Masking, Spread and Isolation, Missteps, Vaccination and the Conclusion.
For comments and questions, contact Dirk Greineder, at the address above.
Norfolk Update Jan. 20 2021
"Norfolk prisoner deaths continue to be reported, although, with the DOC's determined insistence on dissimulating this number, we may never know exactly how many prisoners have succumbed to infection---from which they had zero ability to protect themselves because of the DOC's failure to plan, prepare or execute a rational mitigation strategy."
Lifers' Group Inc. Fast Facts: "For Want of a Reliable Mask: How the Massachusetts DOC Endangered Prisoner Lives and Health to Avoid Paying for Effective Masks During the Covid-19 Pandemic"
COVID-19 in Mass. Prisons: Five Stories from Behind the Wall
Norfolk Update 2020-12-08
"However, it is quite possible that the DOC did accomplish one of its primary (albeit non-public) objectives: to keep secret the excessive extent of Covid-19 infection in the DOC by deliberately delaying follow-up testing until active waves of infection had stormed through the prisons. This seriously increased risks of long-term disability and death for elderly and vulnerable prisoners, many with multiple underlying risk factors for poor outcomes. One may speculate, however, that this was not the DOC's primary concern. " -Dirk Greineder
Norfolk Update 2020-12-29
"Tragically, November and December 2020 have been the cruelest months for state prisoners in the custody of the Department of Correction (DOC) and the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS). Countless prisoners have suffered grievous harms, up to and including death, because of the inaction as well as faulty and deceptive polices by the DOC and EOPSS."
Fast Facts: Falling State Prisoners Numbers: Incidental to Pandemic Court Closure or Real Expedited Release?
"There were only 630 parole releases April-November, as compared with 618 in 2019 even though the SJC urged expedited release. However, the overall state prisoner population decreased population decreased by only about 900 (jurisdiction, from 7972 to 7062 and custody, from 9742 to 6725) between April and November. Remarkable, compared to prior years, this represents approximately 500 fewer prisoners released during the pandemic rather than the increase in releases required by the SJC!"
COVID grim assessment November 30, 2020
Dirk writes that due to the difficult time at Norfolk, he was unable to send this earlier. I received his update on 12-8-20.
Norfolk COVID update October 31, 2020
Grim assessment of COVID at Norfolk written on Oct. 31 by Dirk Greineder.
"Norfolk houses the oldest and most vulnerable population in the DOC with more than 80 prisoners over 70 years old and almost 200 aged between 60 and 70. We are are crowded together such that if anyone in a housing unit gets sick, the risk of infection spreading to many others will be very high. It is reasonable to fear that some prisoners, older or more vulnerable, will die."
"A further concern is that the infected prisoners are being moved into the condemned P2 housing unit---a dormitory setting previously taken out of service because of extensive contamination with molds. This area has been sealed for a year, awaiting demolition, and such exposure will like exacerbate."
"Medical paroles as well as other paroles, strongly recommended to be expedited by recent SJC rulings, have been almost universally denied by the DOC commissioner."
Please thank Dirk for his updates. His contact information is in the Updates.
October 13, 2020 Update from Norfolk
Norfolk Update 9-12-20
Excessive Rates of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in MA State Prisons: A Call to Action
August 17, 2020 update from MCI-Norfolk
"In brief, prisoners continue to be hopelessly isolated and helplessly warehoused without recourse to rehabilitation or education. However, whenever the institution requires priosner labor, it seems that ther are n o perceived barriers to congregating prisoners together for the convenience of the prison and administration. Meanwhile, Covid-19 Massachusetts prisoner case rates and death rates are documented to substantially exceed national prison and US population rates."
Norfolk Update 7-29-20
July 15th Update
Reports from Norfolk on COVID: May 10th - June 30, 2020
Conditions at Norfolk Prison 5-10-2020
Fast Facts: A Thousand Prisoners Are Slowly Dying in Massachusetts Prisons
Lifers' Group Inc., Oct. 2019
Fast Facts: Excessive Incarceration of Life Without Parole Prisoners in MA
Lifers' Group Inc., Feb. 2020
Life Without Parole Is A MA Death Sentence: Aging and Dying in Massachusetts Prisons
DOC Prisoners Inadequately Protected from COVID-19
Reining In the Prosecutor: "Probable Cause to Charge" Hearings
Data on the MA DOC Life-Sentenced Population
The Rapid Aging of Life Without Parole Prisoners in MA: Materials in support of S826 and H3358
Recidivism of Massachusetts Life-Sentenced Prisoners: Re-Offending at Minimal Rates
Prisoners in Norfolk as of June 1, 2018
Graph of life sentenced prisoners from Jan 1, 1999 to Jan 1, 2018
An Analysis of Correctional Recovery Academy Effectiveness
Norfolk MA Lifers' Group Inc. Legislative Priorities
"Life" Is A Death Existence: Aging and Dying in Massachusetts Prisons
A Lifers' Group Report. By Dirk Greineder. January 2018.
Recidivism of Second Degree Lifers: Minimal Rates of Re-Offense
Massachusetts (September 2017)
Parole and Recidivism: Progress or Failure of Leadership
Massachusetts (October 2017)
Failure to Rehabilitate: A Systemic Problem in the Massachusetts Department of Correction
Report by Dirk Greineder, June 2017. For more information contact: Dirk Greineder, Lifers' Group, Inc, MCI Norfolk, PO Box 43, Norfolk, MA 020156
The Still Ongoing Suicide Crisis in the Massachusetts Department of Correction
A Lifers' Group Inc. Report May 2017.
Aging, Criminal Propensity and Lifer Paroles: A Massachusetts Paradox
By Dirk Greineder and Gordon Haas.
Excessive Incarceration of the Elderly
MASS(achusetts) INCARCERATION OF THE ELDERLY: Morally Questionable, Costly and Unnecessary for Public Safety
The Continuing Suicide Crisis in the MA Department of Correction
Gordon Haas, Norfolk Lifers' Group
Chairman, Norfolk (MA) Lifers Group, W38878, MCI Norfolk, P.O. Box 43, Norfolk, MA 02056
Parole Decisions for Lifers 2022
This is the sixteenth report by Gordon Haas on parole decisions for lifers.
It contains a wealth of data and analysis garnered from decisions by the Parole Board in 2022.
Included are: Approval/Denial Rates, Initial Hearings, Approval Rates for Three Types of Hearings, Approval and Denial Facts, Programs Noted by the the Parole Board, Risk Assessment, Times Between Hearing Dates and Dates of Decisions, Juveniles at the Times of Their Crimes, Attorney Representation, Analysis of Parole Decision by Race, Female Lifers, Gender of Victims, Recommendations, Excerpts for 2022 Denied Decisions and more.
Report on the Income and Expenses from the MA DOC to Central Inmate Benefit Fund, Central Law Library Fund and Central Program Account: July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022
MA DOC Expenditures and Staffing Levels for Fiscal 2022
December 2022. Highlights: The average annual cost per prisoner in FY 2022 was $127,736 or a 16% increase over Fiscal 2021. Total expenditures by the DOC in FY 2022 exceeded $760 million, a 5.7% increase from FY 2021. The MA prisoner postulation as of Jan 1, 2022 was 5,962, a decrease of 591 or 9% from the total MA prisoner population on Jan 1, 2021 of 6,553.
Report on the MA Department of Correction's Institutional Fact Cards as of July 1, 2022
January 2023. A few "highlights": The number of prisoners housed in MA on July 2, 2022 (5,950) was 322 below the number housed in MA prisoners on July 1, 2021, a decrease of 5%. The racial background of prisoners housed in MA prisoners on July 1, 2022 was: Caucasian 2,430 (41%), African-American 1,732 (29%), Hispanic 1,556 (26%), Asian 96 (2%), Native American 34 (.6%) and Other 103 (1.4%). On July 1, 2022, the number of criminally sentenced prisoners housed in MA prisons serving 15+ years, including first and second degree lifers was 2,798, a decrease of 10 or .6 from July 1, 2021: 15+only- 1,001, Second Degree Life-795, and First Degree Life 1,002. The oldest prisoner incarcerated in MA facilities on July 1, 2022 was 88 and was housed at MCI-Norfolk. In five other facilities, the oldest prisoner was over 80 years of age: (3 at 82, 2 at 83 and 6 at 84).
Creating Meaningful Public Safety: A Briefing on the Massachusetts Department of Correction
Presented to Governor-Elect Maura Healey and Lieutenant Governor-Elect Kim Driscoll. This briefing was led and written by the Lifers Group, Inc., the Norfolk Inmate Council, the African American Coalition Committee at MCI-Norfolk, and incarcerated community members from Old Colony Correctional Center, MCI-Concord, and Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center. It outlines issues within the Department of Correction, and proposes solutions to rectify them. The briefing also contains three appendices with reports about parole, DOC expenditures and staffing levels, furloughs, and the Structural Racism Report by the Special Legislative Commission.
Parole Decisions for Lifers for the Year 2021
By Gordon Haas, Chairman, Norfolk Lifer's Group (MA). April 2022. The report includes decisions for juveniles, times between hearing dates and decision dates (215 days), and decisions by race/ethnicity/gender and more. Recommendations on the Abbreviated Decisions Risk Assessments, Specificity of Decisions are included.
A Report On the MA Department of Corrections: Institutional Fact Cards As of July 1, 2021
Data includes: Breakdown of MA Housed Prisoners By Status and Security, Breakdown of MA Housed Prisoners by Race and age, Breakdown by Sentence Length, Governing Offense, Lifers Housed in MA Prisons and more.
A Report on the Sources and Uses of Funds from the MA DOC
MA DOC Expenditures and Staffing Levels for Fiscal 2021
The average annual cost per prisoner for FY 2021 exceeded that for FY 2018 by 56%, while the prisoner population count decreased 26% from FY 2018.
The average annual cost per prisoner in FY 2021 was $109,974.
Total # of prisoners in 2021: 6,553.
Parole Decision for Lifers 2020
Norfolk Lifer's Group Annual Report 2019/2020
A Report on the MA DOC's Institutional Fact Cards as of 7-1-2020
Parole Decisions for Lifers: 2019
MA DOC Expenditures and Staffing Levels for Fiscal Year 2020 (October 2020)
Sources and Uses of Funds 7/19-6/20
from the MA Department of Corrections. Central Inmate Benefit Fund, Central Law Library Fund and Central Program Account. July 1, 2019- June 30, 2020.
Lifers' Group: Parole Fact Sheet 9-14-20
Lifers' Group: MA DOC Criminally Sentenced Population by Sentence and Age Group. Jan 1, 2019 and Jan 1, 2020
MA DOC Criminally Sentenced Prisoners 1-1-20 by age and race/ethnicity
MA DOC Ages of Criminally Sentenced Populations by Life Without Parole and All Other Sentences
1/1/2011 through 1/1/2020
MA DOC Expenditures and Staffing Levels for Fiscal Year 2019
Lifers' Group Inc. Fast Facts: Life Without Parole (LWOP) Sentences: A death in prison sentence.
Lifers' Group Inc. Fast Facts: Medical Costs in the Massachusetts DOC: A stunning surge
2019 Report on the Sources and Uses of Funds
from the MA Department of Correction's Central Inmate Benefit Fund, Central Law Library Fund and Central Program Account. July1, 2018- June 30, 2019.
Prepared by Gordon Haas, Chairman, Norfolk Lifers' Group. October 2019.
Lifers' Group 2018 Annual Report
Parole Decisions for Lifers, 2018
A Report on the Sources and Uses of Funds from the MA Department of Correction's Central Library Fund, Central Law Library fund and Central Program Account, July 1, 2017- June 30, 2018
A Report on MA DOC Expenditures and Staffing Levels for FY 2018
A Report on the MA Department of Corrections Institutional Fact Cards as of July 1, 2018
The report includes tables on status and security levels, race and age, sentencing length, lifers and more.
2017 Annual Lifers' Report
Parole Decisions for Lifers 2017
Lifer's Group Report: MA DOC Expenditures and Staffing Levels for FY 2017
Central Inmate Benefit Fund, Central Law Library Fund and Central Program Fund. July 1, 2016- June 30, 2017
Lifer's Group: DOC Expenditures and Staffing Levels FY 2016
Parole Decisions for Lifers: 2016
A Report on the DOC Expenditures and Staffing Levels for Fiscal Year 2015
By Gordon Haas. November 2016.
Statistical Data DOC Expenses, 2016
A Report on the Sources and Uses of Funds from the MA Department of Correction's Central Inmate Benefit Fund, Central Law Library Fund and Central Program Account
July 1, 2015-2016
An Analysis of Parole Decisions For Lifers By Age At Time of Hearing (August 2016)
MA Department of Correction 2014
The Massachusetts PES Program
Parole Decisions for Lifers - 2015
A Report on the Sources and Uses of Funds 2014-2015
A Report on the Income and Expenses From MA Department of Correction's
Central Inmate Benefit Fund, Central Law Library Account and Central Program Account.
For the period July 1, 2014- June 30, 2015. October 2015.
What is the Norfolk (MA) Lifers Group?
A Report for the Massachusetts Department of Correction Institutional Statistics
As of July 1, 2015. Report completed September 2015.
A Report on the Sources and Uses of Funds
A Report on the Sources and Uses of Funds From the Massachusetts Department of Correction's Central Inmate Benefit Fund (Z1), Central Library Fund (Z176) and Central Program Account, September 2015
The High Cost of Incarcerating the Elderly and the Infirm in the Massachusetts Prison System
Parole Decisions for Lifers 2014
Costs of the 'New' Massachusetts Parole Board Dick Greineder and Gordon Haas for the Norfolk Lifers' Group, Summer 2014
Parole Decisions for Lifers, 2013 (March 2014)
Recidivism and the MADOC: A Report on Recidivism Rates for 1998 and 2007
A Report on the Sources and Uses of Funds From the MA DOC Program Account and Law Library Fund for Fiscal Years 2011 and 2012
July 2013 MA DOC Statistics
Notes for DOC Institutional Fact Cards as of July 2013
Parole Decisions for Lifers For 2011-2013 March 2013
Massachusetts Department of Correction 2012
An insightful, comprehensive (and sometimes ironic) report of the current state of the MA DOC including an examination of the truth about "overcrowding", recidivism and what is driving it, the absurdity of the DOC's evaluation of themselves, consequences of over-classification and lack of parole and excellent recommendations and more.
Forgiveness and the Parole Board by Gordon Haas and Lloyd Fillion. July 2012
July 2012 Massachusetts Department of Correction Institutional Statistics
July 2011 Massachusetts Department of Correction Institutional Statistics
Two letters written by Gordon Haas (Chairman of the Norfolk, MA Lifer's Group) in response to Michael Rezendes' 7/19/11 Globe article on paroled lifers.
- Letter to Rezendes
- Letter to Josh Wall, Chairman of the Parole Board
Letter to Sandra McCroom, Undersecretary of Criminal Justice, Exec. Office of Public Safety and Security, on Charging Fees to Prisoners. September 7, 2010.
And other reports by Gordon Haas posted on the RCPP website:
A Report on the Massachusetts Department of Correction- 2011
Life Without Parole: A Reconsideration
By Gordon Haas and Lloyd Fillion by the Norfolk (MA) Lifers Group and the (MA) Criminal Justice Policy Coalition. November 2010.
A Study of Parole Board Decisions for Lifers
Massachusetts: Phantom Prisoner, 2003-2006. Published May 2007. To contact the Phantom Prisoner and/or subscribe to the Phantom Prisoner Newsletter ($5 for prisoners in stamps or cash and $10 for free world subscribers), write to Phantom Prisoner, Ltd., P.O. Box 114379, Centerdale, RI 02911
A Study of Parole Board Decisions for Lifers 2008
Lifers Group, Norfolk Prison, Massachusetts. Lifers' Group, Inc. of MCI, Norfolk has obtained data from the MA Parole Board on the hearings given Lifers, most of whom were convicted of 2nd degree murder. (A very few were convicted of other crimes which the M.G.L. provides for a maximum sentence of life. Those crimes include rape, poisoning, armed assault within a dwelling, armed robbery, kidnapping with intent to extort, and assault of a child with intent to commit rape.) The very detailed analysis, with discussion, separates decisions by those who are before the Parole board for the first time and those who are applying a subsequent time. Also listed are the reasons that the Parole board gives the applicants, both for approved parole and parole denied, as is their frequency. Finally, the length of setbacks (time needing to elapse before an individual denied parole is allowed to reapply for parole.) is charted.
A Study of Parole Board Records of Decision for Lifers in 2010
By Gordon Haas, Norfolk Lifers Group, December 2011.
On December 30, 2016, Matthew received Executive Clemency for Governor Andrew Cuomo. He is free! Congratulations Matthew!
Freedom In a Brand New Year? Governor Cites Gunk Journal Writings in Hattley Decision
Our Final Q and A
Q and A #4, 12/1/16
Inside the Box Q&A #2, August 25, 2016
Q&A #3, September 29, 2016
Questions and Answers
Change is Coming, Part 2
Change is Coming
Surviving and Growing in the New York State Prison System - Part 2
Inside the Box: Recreation While Incarcerated
Published in the Shawangunk Journal, January 16, 2016
Maintaining Relationships While Incarcerated: Our Jails Are Ages Behind the Rest of the World
(Aug. 13, 2015)
Racism in America: The Policing Issue
Inside the Box: April 2015 Index
Inside the Box: The Other Side of the Story
Inside the Box: Ours is a Broken Prison System
with response and counter-response, "A Clarification of What I Am"
47129, 185 Dr. Michael Jenkins Road, Clayton, NM 88415
#0025374, Anamosa State Penitentiary, Post Office Box 10, Anamosa, Iowa 52205-0010
Daniel L. Holland
#W69561, MCI Norfolk, P.O. Box 43, Norfolk, MA 02056-0043
(See Norfolk Legal Advisory Committee and Norfolk Inmate Council below)
Food Report: MCI Norfolk, March 2023
A detailed report and documentation (16MB) concerning "discrepancies in orders for items ordered from the Inmate Found Account which are not served to the inmate population. " The report also details the lack of nutritious and healthy food served to incarcerated people which do not follow the guidelines of DOC policies.
Dan Holland is a master of public information requests. Past public information requests focused on guards purchasing high end food and water etc from funds designated for prisoner's food.. This occurred (and maybe still is during the Covid lockdown) when prisoners were eating bologna sandwiches. Terrance Doyle wrote an article for Boston Eater based in part on Dan's research: ‘Inedible’ and ‘Inadequate’ Food Is Being Served to People Incarcerated in Massachusetts DOC Prisons. The new information in this attachment "Waste" documents thousands of dollars paid to pick up food waste at Norfolk to be fed to pigs.
Norfolk Lifers Group December 2020 Update
11-10-20 Report on COVID in Norfolk from Daniel Holland
This report includes conditions, deficiencies, and meals served during the lock-down from 10-28 through 11-9-20
The paragraph below was written on 11-16-20.
"The example of black mold in Probation, is sadly one of the norm, and not the exception. Who tries to quarantine men with a virus which causes high instances of respiratory distress in an environment with a history of black-mold?! Interestingly, Sunday (11/10) following a Senator's visit, the DOC closed Probation as a quarantine unit. We continue to see correctional officers who work in quarantined units report to non-quarantined units for over-time. These officer continue to wear "Gator" (mask/scarf) which even the Governor has said do not work. Men are still not being tested before leaving quarantine. And, mask-wearing and social distancing is being inconsistently enforced. I just watched d 40+ men standing should to shoulder waiting for canteen. Events like canteen, medication and meals are supposed to be called in small groups (10-15) and staggered."
Expenditures from the Inmate Food Account
(Not served to the inmate population). 5/5//20- 5-28-20. This documents food and drinks purchased by guards for guards during this period.
Defund MCI Norfolk's Main Line Kitchen
Invoices for Purchases
This and the following four exhibits document the misappropriation of $8,539.08 of food purchased from the Inmate Food Account and not served to the incarcerated men at Norfolk. The $8,539.08 was spent from 3-3-20 through 4-30-20 (including during the pandemic lockdown) to purchase food most which was not served to prisoners despite the money being taken from their account. Food purchased includes ice cream sandwiches, pizza, 25 cases of stuffed chicken breast, beef tenderloin tips, cases and cases of water and Gatorade and more (See Expenditures from the Inmate Food Account not served to Inmate Population.)
Questions About the Norfolk Inmate Food Account Expenditures (May 19, 2020)
Expenditures from Inmate Food Account (May 18, 2020)
Food at MCI-Norfolk, Inovices of Inmate Food Account (June 6, 2020)
Expenditures from the Inmate Food Accout Not Served to the Inmate Population
Food Report: February 2018 - February 2019
(report July 2019). Report concerns the quality and quantity of food served to prisoners at Norfolk and the overtime meals being served to guards.
We Answer to No One
Heart Healthy Diet
Penny Wise, Pound Foolish
Donald "C-Note" Hooker
K94063, CA State Prison- Los Angeles County, Fac B- Building 5-Bed 136, P.O. Box 4490, Lancaster, CA 93539
Dreams of the Mothers by Donald Hooker
62161 ECF, Box 311, El Dorado, KS 67042
F. DeAndre Howard
#07757-089, Federal Correctional Institution, P.O. Box 5000, Pekin, IL 61555-5000
IMSI Patrick Irving, #82431, P.O. Box 51, Boise, ID 83707
The Book Of Irving #82431
"Patrick Irving is inmate #82431 in an Idaho Department Of Corrections facility. You may know him as Shipwreck the Dirty Mick, Chip Van Wreck, Glenn "Hightop" Zamboni, Rando Mand or maybe someone else." Patrick's story starts with the original four parts of "The Book Of Irving #82431."
Doc #892219, SHU B1012, P.O. Box 1111, Wabash Valley Correctional Facility, 6908 S. Old US Hwy 41, Carlisle, IN 47838
V34031, Suwannee C.I., 5964 U.S. Highway 90, Live Oak, FL 32064
P91993, Cal Med Fac, P.O. Box 2000 G/216, Vacaville, CA 95696-2000
Kurtis R. Jeter
959775, Lawtey Correctional Institution, 7819 N.W. 228th Street, Raiford, FL 32026
#1859887, Clements Unit, 9601 Spur 591, Amarillo, TX 79107
Kevin “Rashid” Johnson & the New Afrikan Black Panther Party-Prison Chapter. In 1990, Kevin “Rashid” Johnson was a drug dealer, an ambitious member of amerika’s Black lumpen proletariat, or underclass. Like so many, as a young adult he was arrested and received a lengthy prison sentence. He has been incarcerated ever since – for the past eighteen years in conditions of solitary confinement.
MCI Norfolk / PO Box 43 / Norfolk, MA 02056
Kenneth M. Key
A-70562, P.O. Box 112, Joliet, IL 60434-0112
V31306, CSP-Solano Level III, FA3-232, P.O. Box 4000, Vacaville, CA 95696-4000
W95692, NCCI-Gardner, P.O. Box 466, Gardner, MA 01440
RIP Joe Labriola
128457, HCC, R-A-9, P.O. Box 2049, Airway Heights, WA 99001
Kern Valley State Prison
Kerry Shakaboona Marshall
Smart Communications/PADOC, Kerry Shakaboona Marshall, BE 7826, SCI Rockview, P.O. Box 33028, St. Petersburg, FL 33733
1452917, Pocahontas State Correctional Center, P.O. Box 518, Pocahontas, VA 24635
Larry E. May
F22113 A5-137 P.O. Box 4430 CSP LA Co Lancaster, CA 93539
From Negative to Positive: (In My Own Words)
This book was birthed from the minds of men who have been sentenced to spend the rest of their natural lives behind cold steel, concrete and prison bars. Read each sentence within this book carefully. You’re going to experience joyful wisdom and painful testimonies from many great men. We’re sharing our divine truths and life experiences up close and personal. We have been able to find beauty and meaning to our lives within an environment that breeds despair. Keep in mind that we’re serving hard and serious time. Many of us have lost our loved ones over the years to death, and our children—who were babies when we came to prison—are now adults. We’ve been cut off from society and buried alive. Our Supreme Intention for creating this book is to show the youth of today that they don’t have to follow in our footsteps. We hope this book inspires, provokes though and may even save a life!
In the beginning of my incarceration I asked myself, “How did I get here?”. During the therapeutic process and seeking to answer that question, I came to the understanding of “how to stay out of prison.” It was through a determined path of rehabilitation that has manifested in me a healthy process of transformation, stability and a life that is lawful. This will insure the success of my reintegration back into society, parole conditions and obedience of the laws of the land. Every tool and skill that I have learned has become a part of my thinking and behavior today. These are skills that I practice in my day-to-day life, and will continue to practice once I am released. This books was created with the hope that my journey can guide others who find themselves in the same situation.
Bro. Khalfani Malik Khaldun (Leonard McQuay)
#874304, P.O. Box 1111 A-706 SCU, Wabash Valley Correctional Facility, P.O. Box 1111, Carlisle, IN 47838
Sheldon N. Messer
00A3204, Eastern NY Correctional Facility, Box 338, Napanoch, NY 12458-0338
Jackie Emmitt Moorehead
0291041, Hyde Correctional Institution, P.O. Box 278, Swan Quarter, NC 27885-0278
Timothy J. Muise
Great news! Tim Muise is free!
W-46510, Old Colony Correctional Center, One Administration Road, Bridgewater, MA 02324
Norfolk (MA) Legal Advisory Committee
MCI Norfolk, Norfolk, MA
(See writer Dan Holland above)
Norfolk Inmate Council
MCI Norfolk Inmate Council, P.O. Box 43, Norfolk, MA 02056
(See writer Dan Holland above)
Request for Emergency Intervention: A letter to Gov. Healey from the Norfolk Inmate Council
Attached please find a letter by Lizz Matos, Executive Director of PLS, written to Gov. Maura Healey accompanying "A Request for Emergency Intervention" written by the Norfolk Inmate Council. Lizz Matos writes: "The letter contains very serious allegations related to correctional officer misconduct including sexual misconduct and misconduct related to substance use and distribution and firearms. The letter further highlights a history of problematic policies and practices in the MA Department of Correction and makes substantial recommendations for reform."
The attached letter from the Norfolk Inmate Council letter to the Governor states: "The Department of Correction (DOC) is in crisis and requires an emergency intervention by your office. Over the past month, the Norfolk Inmate Council (NIC), the elected body that represents the incarcerated population at MCI-Norfolk, has been made aware of several serious criminal allegations involving DOC staff members. Some of the charges are so explosive that we have spent the past weeks attempting to suss out fact from fiction. Collectively, we have spoken to almost a dozen independent sources -- mostly security staff -- some with direct knowledge of the issues discussed below. While some details vary, the accounts reveal a highly dysfunctional organization whose lack of qualified leadership and failure to focus on the DOC's core mission has not just allowed staff criminality to blossom across the prison system, but has actually inspired its growth."
MCI Norfolk, Box 43, Norfolk, MA 02056-0043
60345, P.O. Box 11099, Omaha, NE 68111-0099
#67946, Ely State Prison, P.O. Box 1989, Ely, NV 89301
J25599, High Desert State Prison C8-108, P.O. Box 3030, Susanville, CA 96127
Mark C. Palmer
21986-4F1, 2521 Circle Drive, Jamestown, ND 58501
AB 1204, D7290, CA Men's Colony State Prison, P.O. Box 8101, San Luis Obispo, CA 93409-8101
A311-507, Grafton Correctional Institution, 2500 S. Avon Belden Road, Grafton, Ohio 44044
Joseph J. Probe
SID#13002591, Oregon State Penitentiary, 2606 State Street, Salem, OR 97310
W45018, Bay State Correctional Center, P.O. Box 73/Main 214, Norfolk, MA 02056-0073
Karter Kane Reed
Good news! Karter is no longer in prison.
Milton L. Rice
MCIN, P.O. Box 43, Norfolk, MA 020056-0043
Changa Asa Ramu, aka Paul J. Rogers
Smart Communications/PADOC, Changa Asa Ramu aka Paul J. Rogers, #BS-6500, SCI Smithfield, P.O. Box 33028, St. Petersburg, FL 33733
Mr. Paul J. Rogers
Great news! (1-30-13) After 12 years, Paul is in the process of being moved from solitary to the general population.
This is a testament to his resilience and persistance and to his family and friends who have advocated on his behalf.
R.R.L. Railroad Line
Still in Illegal Limbo: This is a statement written by Paul J. Rogers, (BS 6500, SCI Smithfield, P.O. Box 999, 1120 Pike Street, Huntingdon, PA 16652) locked in solitary (Restricted Release List) for 12 years. He has contacted Pennsylvania, national and international organizations seeking his release into the general population. Most recently, his appeal was rejected again by the DOC. You have his permission to use his statement in any way that will help him to be released from RRL.
Abuse of Authority
Juan A. Roldan
MPS, 86-A-8348, Box 1245, Fishkill Correctional Facility, Beacon, NY 12508
Tiyo Attallah Salah El
R.I.P. Tiyo. Tiyo passed away in June, 2018. He was 85 years old. To get a small idea of the remarkable work he accomplished during almost 50 years of incarceration, visit the UMass Library Special Collections
New album brings prisoner’s music to life
June 14, 2022. By John Malkin, correspondent for the Santa Cruz Sentinel. This is an edited print version of the interview with Lois Ahrens
Pen Pal: Prison Letters From a Free Spirit on Slow Death Row
By TIYO ATTALLAH SALAH-EL with a Preface by MIKE AFRICA, JR.
Tiyo Attallah Salah-El died in 2018 on “Slow Death Row” while serving a life sentence in a Pennsylvania prison. He was a man with a dizzying array of talents and vocations: author, scholar, teacher, musician, and activist: he was the founder of the Coalition for the Abolition of Prisons. He was also, as is apparent from the letters written over a decade and half to his friend Paul Alan Smith that make up this book, an extraordinarily eloquent correspondent.
Tiyo’s refusal to succumb to such hardships is evident in dispatches that are generous, philosophical and often laugh-out-loud funny. Through them we learn of his many friendships, including those with the historian Howard Zinn, a range of activist/advocate supporters on the outside, and two fellow people in prison who were leaders of the Black liberation group MOVE.
At a time when the appalling racial bias of America’s police and criminal justice system is under the spotlight as never before, Pen Pal is both a vital intervention and moving portrait of someone whose physical confinement could never extinguish.
Celebration of the Life of Tiyo Attallah Salah-El
Video from memorial at DuBois Center, The University of Massachusetts, Amherst. October 5th, 2018.
Obituary by Lois Ahrens
in The Movement, Summer 2018 issue
#125166, P.O. Box 6000, Sterling, CO 80751
Letter to Gary Maynard, President American Correctional Association on conditions including toxic water at Sterling Corr. Fac.
GREAT NEWS! Anastazia is Free!
Interviews on WFHB
Three insightful, provocative and always engaging 20 minute interviews with Anastazia Schmid, recorded a few weeks after she successfully won her freedom after 18 years.
Kite Line- September 27, 2019: Truth and Trauma- A Conversation with Anastazia Schmid, Part One
This week, we share the first part of an interview with Anastazia Schmid. Schmid has appeared on Kite Line before, analyzing women’s health care in the prison system. Now, she joins us on the other side of the walls, talking through her release and subsequent support, and the meaning of truth in light of trauma. After spending 18 years in Indiana prison, her case was recently overturned- due largely to her own tenacity. She spoke with us only two weeks after her release, and shared valuable insights as to her time inside and her transition out.
Kite Line- October 4, 2019: Apparatuses of Control, from Prison to Gynecology- A Conversation with Anastazia Schmid, Part Two
We return this week to our conversation with Anastazia Schmid. Speaking to her just weeks after her release, she talks about stigma and control- both for women and for the incarcerated. After spending 18 years in Indiana prison, her case was recently overturned- due largely to her own tenacity. During this part of the conversation, she talks to Kite Line about the daily trauma women experience, both inside and outside of the wall.
Kite Line- October 11, 2019: Writing Our Histories- A Conversation with Anastazia Schmid, Part Three
This week, we finish our conversation with Anastazia Schmid. This time around, she talks about labels- and the media’s role in the stigmatization of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people. Schmid also talks to us about the Indiana Women’s Prison History Project, and other ways of presenting her historical research, especially outside of the academic setting, such as the play “The Duchess of Stringtown” which she wrote with Michelle Jones while in the Indiana Women’s Prison. She ends by sharing her ideas about what abolitionist horizons look like to her, and how she envisions a continued fight against the carceral system.
Crafting the Perfect Woman: How Gynecology, Obstetrics and American Prisons Operate to Construct and Control Women
By Anastazia Schmid. Abolitionist Journal. May 30, 2017.
Those Exempt from Academic Freedom
Prindle Post. Dec 15, 2015.
Rewriting the Sentence: College Behind Bars
American Public Media, American Radio Works, National Public Radio. Interview: April 4, 2016. Air date: September 9, 2016. [from 30:08 - 52.09]
Sexual Conquest and 19th Century Women’s Prisons
Presented at the annual conference of the American Historical Association, January 7, 2016.
Gender Disparities in Crime and Punishment: The Epistemic Violence of Silencing Incarcerated Women
Session Title: We Have No Home in this Place: Prisons, Debt, Gender and Health. American Studies Association Conference. Denver, Colorado, November 18, 2016. (The URL is of a pre-conference recording of my paper, which we made in the event Anastazia was moved to another prison before the conference)
Dark Ladies vs. Fair Ladies: Feminist Moral Reformers’ Subjugation of Prostitutes in 19th Century Indiana
Presented at the bi-centennial conference Hoosier Women at Work, Indiana State Library, March 26, 2016.
Sexual Conquest and 19th Century Women’s Prisons
Presented at the annual conference of the American Historical Association, January 7, 2016
Gynecology and Eugenics in Social Reform: A Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Overview of Doctors and Institutions in Relation to Criminality; Highlighting Indiana Prisons and Institutions
Presented at the annual conference of the American Correctional Association, Indianapolis, Indiana, August 14, 2015
Captive Patients: Female Slaves and Prisoners in 19th Century America
Presented at the annual conference of Women and Gender Historians of the Midwest, June 12, 2015.
Presented at the annual conference of the Indiana Academy of the Social Sciences, October 2014.
An essay ("Crafting the Perfect Woman: How Gynecology, Obstetric and American Press Operate to Construct and Control Women") and art work by Anastazia Schmid are included in the book: Abolish Carceral Society by the Abolition Collective (2018) Common Notions Press
J-44638, P.O. Box 3461, 3A01-215, Corcoran, CA 93212
Shawn L. Shumate
Two Rivers Correctional Institution, 82911 Beach Access Road, Umatilla, OR 97882
W42105, MCI Shirley, P.O. Box 1218, Shirley, MA 01464
Mr. Kemoria Bright Cloud Smith
#696218, Connally Unit, 899 F.M. 632, Kenedy, TX 78119-4516.
Jason Allan Spyres
Great news! Jason is no longer incarcerated!
636416, 777 FM 3497, Gib Lewis Unit, Woodville, TX 75990
A Spark in the Dark
Joseph Stanwick writes in his cover letter:
"I have lived in solitary confinement for 17 years. I've seen men cut on themselves with razor blades, go on hunger strikes for the most absurd reasons, beat on the walls and doors....because solitary confinement/isolation can drive you loony. A book is a great companion in such situations."
#118218, NFCF, 1605 East Main St., Sayre, OK 73662
#179983 Northern Supermax, P.O. Box 665, Somers, CT 06071.
Jon Marc Taylor
This Side of My Struggle:
Prisoners on Suffering, Surrendering and Breaking Free
Jon Marc Taylor, PhD. R.I.P.
Jon was my friend. He was an author, advocate and agitator. He wrote tirelessly about the need for education in prisons and for the restoration of Pell grants. He organized a debate team, wrote newsletters, letters to the editor and managed to organize the first and only day-long colloquium for the leadership of the NAACP inside the prison where he was incarcerated. Jon was also funny, kind and generous. Tragically, almost 2 years ago, he suffered a debilitating stroke while he was in solitary in retaliation for years of work. Rather than release him, they kept him.
Jon died on Dec 27, 2015, still in prison. His work and his spirit will live on.
Read How we all failed Jon Marc Taylor by religion and and ethics writer Bill Tammeus.
Nandi Crosby, Editor. (Included is an essay by Jon Marc Taylor, PhD.) Review by Jon Marc Taylor:
"This anthology is a collection of heart-wrenching firsthand accounts of
prisoners who ache for redemption. Inmates in their first, second, and third
decades of incarceration wrench out awakenings of tragedy and remorse in these
narratives. Focusing on events leading up and since incarceration, this
compilation of nonfiction essays is a biting commentary on loss and revival that
takes place every day inside penitentiaries throughout the U.S."
Pell Grants for Prisoners: Why Should We Care?, published in Straight Low magazine, V.9, N.2, 2008. "Louisiana's Official Prison Magazine."
Call for Universal Suffrage in the United States
Jon Marc Taylor, PhD is the author of Prisoners'
Guerrilla Handbook To Correspondence Programs in
the United States and Canada-3rd Edition, 2009.
Published by Prison Legal News. It can be ordered
from them at http://www.prisonlegalnews.org. $49.95. 224
Mr. Kelly Lee Watts
35401/5A-17, Potosi Correctional Center, 11593 State Highway O, Mineral Point, MO 63660
African-American Coalition Committee, MCI Norfolk
461478, Spring Creek Correction Center, 3600 Bette Cato Avenue, Seward, AK 9664-9730
Safir Chuma Asafo, aka Robert William
Smart Communications/PADOC, Safir Chuma Asafo aka Robert William, BH8660, SCI Huntingdon, P.O. Box 33028, St. Petersburg, FL 33733
H45771/C7-12-!L P.O. Box 2349 Blythe, CA 92226
The Ghost of Jim Crow: False Labels = Excessive Sentences
Dark Tales from the Dungeons: Horrors from the 'Hood for Youth to Beware
A book by The Men for Honor Writing Group (Author), Dortell Williams (Author, Editor). This book is a collaboration of writings by The Men for Honor Writers Group at the California State Prison in Los Angeles County. This work – by prisoners serving time for non-violent drug offenses to first degree murder – offers diverse approaches to admonish, dissuade and advise youth how to avoid finding themselves in the horrific and tragic consequences of incarcerated life. The Men for Honor Creative Writing Class represents the unique California program located in the State Prison in Los Angeles County, called The Honor Program.
#228036, Cross City Corr. Inst., 568 NE 255th Street, Cross City, FL 32628
Ezzial "EZ" Williams
Sadot X. Williams
Michael Smokey Wilson
After 46 years, Smokey Wilson is a free man!
Willie Worley, Jr
0453523, B.C.I. #4880, Windsor, NC 27983
W80355, P.O. Box 100, South Walpole, MA 02071
Andrew John Yellowbear, Jr.
#24244, Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution, 7076 Road 55F, Torrington, WY 82240
1142114-5A-4, Haynesville Corr. Center, P.O. Box 129, Haynesville, VA 22472
Federal Correctional Institution, Petersburg P.O. Box 1000, #22132-058, Petersburg, VA 23804
Writing: Inside and Outside
Education Is For Everyone--Marianne Teresa Ruud Education (MTR)
This is a beautiful and important website documenting the work of Marianne Teresa Ruud, a high school teacher in Norway who became an advocate for incarcerated people in the U.S. The website includes the collaboration between Marianne and her students with incarcerated people and what that collaboration meant and means for each of them. For people who think that one individual's ideas, work and dedication cannot make a difference, Marianne's work disproves that.
(The website) "Is the comprehensive collection of artwork, letters, poems, essays, projects, production of music and film carried out from 2014 to 2023. It involves my high school students here in Norway and people who were teenagers when they entered the American prison system to long term and life without parole sentences. One of those we worked with sat on death row. I have devoted an entire section titled A Part of Me to the stories, letters and essays written by young people both on the inside in prison and out. They call it from the inside out and the outside looking in. An incarcerated individual in the Florida Correctional System has made some beautiful artwork and in the section, A Part of Me, you can see one of his pieces depicting this. The current work involves adults who are my students in English. Many of these students are refugees who have not been in a classroom for over a decade or those who dropped out of high school and are returning to obtain their high school diploma. They all have a special story to tell and share with others in our society."
The Journal of Women and Criminal Justice
The Journal of Women and Criminal Justice features art and writing from justice-involved persons and advocates. Through a combination of personal testimonies and research, The Journal highlights issues related to women and incarceration. The first edition of The Journal is available online: https://www.njreentry.org/application/files/4916/2491/5889/The_Journal_of_Women_and_Criminal_Justice.pdf. The second edition will be published in January of 2022.
The Reality vs the Myth: A Glimpse of Life from a Prisoner's Perspective
By James L. Davis III, David X. Steed, Isschar Howard, and Komrad/John Moye. It is a collection of essays and poetry that shares the lived realities of their experiences as men incarcerated for decades in CT prisons.
Prison Journalism Project
Prison Journalism Project has a unique training and publishing model that is straightforward and inclusive.
Each incarcerated person who expresses interest in writing for PJP receives a detailed submissions guide that includes writing prompts. As they submit stories, we share journalism training handouts that we have developed, including an instructional newsletter by a former Reuters editor with four decades of experience. This fall, we sent each writer a copy of PJP x Inside, a print newspaper embedded with training tips for incarcerated writers and their communities.
Once a writer has demonstrated a strong body of work, we invite them to be contributors. Having achieved this status, these individuals are given first consideration for our PJP J-school correspondence program, through which we are currently providing mentorship to 15 individuals who work to hone their journalism skills, publish stories on our site, and take part in collaborative reporting projects with each other and with outside reporters. The first cohort includes four women including a formerly incarcerated writer.
To cement their roles as prison journalists, we have also partnered with the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) to establish the first national chapter of incarcerated journalists.
Our goal is to create a nationwide network of prison correspondents.
The Insider Prize
Writing from people incarcerated in Texas prisons. Each year American Short Fiction gets dozens of essays and short stories from men and women in prisons and jails across Texas, some handwritten and others produced on typewriters. They tell stories about their lives before prison, about the conditions inside, and about the many places their imaginations take them.
Flying Kites: A Story of the 2013 California Prison Hunger Strike (Read on-line)
A graphic novel "based on the events of the historic 2013 California prison hunger strike, Flying Kites is a story about resilience, forgiveness, hope, and what it means to find your own voice."
The American Prison Writing Archive
The American Prison Writing Archive (APWA) is an internet-based, non-profit archive of first-hand testimony to the living and working conditions experienced by incarcerated people, prison employees, and prison volunteers. For more information and to request our permissions-questionnaire, write to: APWA, c/o Hamilton College, 198 College Hill Road, Clinton, NY 13323-1218
A World Without Cages
From Darkness to Hope: Prison Writings about Redemption
Edited by Tuan "Mike" Doan. Barking Rooster Books, Los Angeles; Fall 2018.
This anthology features the writings of incarcerated men in the high security "B" yard of the California State Prison-Los Angeles County in Lancaster CA. As editor Tuan Doan writes in his preface, "These men had great potential but no one there to show them how to express themselves, and no available platforms to allow young minds the seeds of greatness to flourish, There is nothing to look forward to but pain and destruction. They developed a survival mentality that benefited no one." In these often harrowing accounts, there are also the liberating messages of responsibility, redemption, and rehabilitation. These stories and poems prove that anyone with the proper knowledge, tools, resources, communities, spiritual engagement, and imaginations can change.
With an introduction by Luis J. Rodriguez, an acclaimed author and activist, who has taught creative writing, read poetry, held talks, and facilitated healing circles in prisons, jails, and juvenile lockups for 38 years.
My Life Matters Too
Essays and poems from some men at the Gus Harrison Facility in Adrian, Michigan. Must be logged into Facebook to view.
Words Uncaged is a creative platform, created by the men of A-Yard California State Prison, Lancaster and Cal State LA Professor Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy: its purpose is for incarcerated artists, writers, students and poets to dialogue and critically engaged with you.
Prison Poetry Project: A collection of Creative Writing Workshop ideas and poetry by Rod Martin
This book with guidelines and poetic examples for sixteen writing sessions was developed by Rod Martin who teaches Creative Writing at Halawa Prison on the island of Oauhu, HI. Rod has given his permission to use this material and share it. Please credit him and his work when you do. email@example.com
Prison Poetry Project: A collection of Creative Writing Workshop ideas and poetry by Rod Martin.
Prison Renaissance began with a group of incarcerated artists who experienced a rebirth of their human values. Artistic expression changed the way they see themselves. Art and education will allow them to help change how other incarcerated people see themselves — as citizens and community builders instead of outsiders and burdens. We hope that a return to civic duty among incarcerated-Americans will change how the public views its incarcerated population — the largest in the world.
Voces de Liberta: Youth Speak Out
Poems by Poets Santa Fe County Youth Detention Facility (September 2016)
Wisdom Within The Pen
Wisdom Within The Pen is a collaboration of creative writers, both prisoners and volunteers, at the Oregon State Penitentiary. In 2013, a prisoner had an idea. The book you’re holding is the result. Both prisoner and staff took a liking to the idea, especially since all profits resulting from the book’s sale would benefit Angels in the Outfield, an Oregon non-profit, which helps youth that have been the unfortunate victims of crime and abuse.
The writing in Wisdom Within The Pen encompasses poetry, short story, and other forms of creative expression that are often autobiographical in nature. There are also many interesting, historical facts relating to the Oregon State Penitentiary and the inner workings of life behind bars.
About Lifers' Club Publishing: For nearly 50 years the Lifers’ Unlimited Club has sought to meet the needs of prisoners housed in the Oregon State Penitentiary and elsewhere when possible. Though serving life sentences the members of the Lifers’ Club have strived to make this community a better place to do time via educational opportunities, fundraising efforts, charity sponsorships, and many other notable projects. The Lifers’ Unlimited Club is a self-sustaining, self-governed group of prisoners who actively participate in politics that help shape the direction of the club as a whole. We cannot change the past; however, we believe through rehabilitation and pro-social behavior we can create a more productive future.
Literary magazine from the Cornell Prison Education Program (CPEP) at Auburn Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison for men in upstate NY. Writers Bloc is made up of poetry and short stories by incarcerated students and our undergraduate teaching assistants from Cornell. [PDF of 2016 issue]
The Incarceration Collections at the Rubenstein: The Role of Reading and Writing in the History of Prisoners’ Rights Movements - The Devil's Tale
"The popular Netflix series Orange is the New Black, based on the memoir of the same name by Piper Kerman, has brought renewed attention to the conditions inside U.S. women’s prisons. While prison reform has not been contemporarily understood as a priority of the LGBTQ and feminist communities, the special collections at the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, illustrate the degree to which prison reform and anti-prison activism have, since the 19th century, operated as a cornerstone of both LGBTQ and feminist movements."
Prison Writers Speak Out
CURE-ARM MA Newsletter
Summer 2014, Vol 1, Issue 2
Spring Vol. 1, Issue 1
Rain Shadow Review
Rain Shadow Review is a product of the Creative Writing Workshops directed by Erec Toso at the Arizona State Prison Complex, Tucson. Contact: Rain Shadow Review, P.O. Box 85462, Tucson, AZ 85754-5462
PrisonEducation.com is a source for prisoner education, and correctional education news, information, and research. Our purpose is to advance the position that prison education is fiscally sound, research- and evidence-based, and smart on crime.
Let Me Live: Voices of Youth Incarcerated
Poetry Behind the Walls (PBW) is one of the only ongoing series in the world that is dedicated to writings from youth who are incarcerated.
Captured Words/Free Thoughts: Collections of writings from prisoners
Volume 8 includes work from a writing workshop held at the Denver Women's Correctional Facility. Other issues have included work sent from prisoners in IL, MI, TX, CA, KS, NJ and AZ. Stephen John Hartnett, editor writes..."the magazine strives to counter the corporate mass media's attempts to teach us to fear prisoenrs as monsters by instead cultivating and celebrating their talent, humanity and indomitable spirit. Free copies are available by writing or emailing: Stephen John Hartnett, Department of Communication, UC Denver, P.O. Box 173364, MC-176, Denver, CO 80217. Stephen.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mass Prison Voice
The Prisoner Express program, sponsored by the Durland Alternatives Library, promotes rehabilitation by offering inmates information, education and the opportunity for creative self-expression in a public forum. Participation in this program fosters self-exploration, enrichment and knowledge. The Durland Alternatives Library has a number of ongoing programs as parts of its Prisoners Express project. Poetry Anthology, Prisoner Express Newletter, long-distance learning. Address: Prisoner Express - 127 Anabel Taylor Hall - Cornell University - Ithaca, NY 14853
U.S. Prison Conditions - A Human Rights Issue
By Bonnie Kerness, Director, American Friends Service Committee Prison Watch Project, June 1, 2013.
A Call for Aid in Building an Infrastructure for the Movement from the N.C.T.T.-Cor-SHU
For more information: http://ncttcorshu.org
Yale Law Journal Prison law writing contest winners (2013)
"The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) and the Importance of Litigation in Its Enforcement: Holding Guards who Rape Accountable" by Elizabeth A. Reid
"The Meaning of Imprisonment " by Ernie Drain
"Solano Justice" by Aaron Lowers
Advocate: Sentencing Justice Reform Advocacy (CA)
Willy the Plumber Scholarship
"Specifically for children of inmates doing a lot of time or habitually getting locked up." Utah only.
Salt Lake Tribune article about the Willy the Plumber Scholarship
Patricia Marshall Vickers Testimony to the Democratic Policy Committee Hearing on Solitary Confinement, September 18, 2012
Patricia Marshall Vickers is the co-editor, with her son Kerry Shakaboona Marshall, of The Movement. This is from her testimony: "As I mentioned earlier I am speaking from secondhand prison experience – like a nonsmoker who gets cancer from secondhand smoke. So I know about people being held in a cell for 23 hours at a time, day after day, year after year. I know of men who have spent five, ten, twenty and thirty years in solitary confinement. I know their names and have been in touch with them. " Kerry Marshall (Brother Shakaboona). I am Vice President of the Pennsylvania Lifers Association at SCI-Rockview. I have served as committee Chairperson of the NASACP branch at SCI-Graterford. I am an Advisory Council member of the Real Cost of Prisons Project. I am also a founding member of the Human Rights Coalition in Philadelphia, and the co-founder and co-editor of THE MOVEMENT magazine. Moreover, I am a Juvenile Lifer prisoner confined at SCI-Rockview, who has served nearly 25 years of imprisonment within the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections’ state prisons, with approximately 17 years of that time served in solitary - unjustly and for retaliatory purposes.
Between the Bars
Between the Bars is a weblog platform for people in prison, through which the 1% of Americans who are in prison can tell their stories.
The Journal of Prisoners on Prisons
JPP is a prisoner written, academically oriented and peer reviewed, non-profit journal, based on the tradition of the penal press. It brings the knowledge produced by prison writers together with academic arguments to enlighten public discourse about the current state of carceral institutions. This is particularly important because with few exceptions, definitions of deviance and constructions of those participating in these defined acts are incompletely created by social scientists, media representatives, politicians and those in the legal community. These analyses most often promote self-serving interests, omit the voices of those most affected, and facilitate repressive and reactionary penal policies and practices. As a result, the JPP attempts to acknowledge the accounts, experiences, and criticisms of the criminalized by providing an educational forum that allows women and men to participate in the development of research that concerns them directly. In an age where "crime" has become lucrative and exploitable, the JPP exists as an important alternate source of information that competes with popularly held stereotypes and misconceptions about those who are currently, or those who have in the past, faced the deprivation of liberty.
Voices From Alabama Death Row - A Search for Justice
In Memory of Jon E. Yount, 1938-2012 by Peter Wagner
• "Change is Inevitable; Growth is Optional"
Keynote Graduation Address, San Quentin State Penitentiary Graduation Trust Program
(Remarks given on 16 December 2010)
Tyrone A. Werts
• Aging Out: True Justice, Fairness and Mercy
Tyrone Werts' sentence was commuted by Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell on December 30, 2010. He was sentenced in 1976.
TENACIOUS: Art and Writings By Women in Prison
An excellent journal of articles, poetry, and art from women in prison. "We encourage women to share with us and others in the hopes of educating those in society and empowering other women to take a stand for their rights and the rights of others. " Subjects include: prison programs and how they do or don't work. Mothers educating their children while on the inside. Holding prison officials accountable for their actions and inaction. Women prisoners uniting to make a difference. Sexual discrimination or sexual preference discrimination and other subjects. Free for women prisoners. Men in prison send 2 postage stamps for each issue. Those not in prison: $3 to support the sending of free issues to incarcerated women. Send fee for issues and submissions to Tenacious, P.O. Box 20388, New York, NY 10009
Between the Bars
Between the Bars is a weblog platform for prisoners, through which the 1% of America which is behind bars can tell their stories. Since prisoners are routinely denied access to the Internet, we enable them to blog by scanning letters. We aim to provide a positive outlet for creativity, a tool to assist in the maintenance of social safety nets, an opportunity to forge connections between prisoners and non-prisoners, and a means to promote non-criminal identities and personal expression. We hope to improve prisoner's lives, and help to reduce recidivism.
Poetry Behind the Walls
PBW is the only ongoing journal in the world that is dedicated to writings from youth that are incarcerated. PBW is a collaborative project between Save the Kids, Le Moyne College’s Center for Urban and Regional Applied Research, SUNY Cortland’s Criminology Department, the journal Social Advocacy and Systems Change, and Hillbrook Youth Detention Center.
CANCERFORNIA: A Letter to the Golden State
A Red Wolf can be contacted at: email@example.com. The original letter was posted at http://www.cannabismag.com/index.php/health/133-cancerfornia-a-letter-to-the-golden-state. We corrected some formatting problems in the version below: http://realcostofprisons.org/writing/cancerfornia.pdf
4 Struggle Magazine
This magazine focuses the insights and experiences of U.S. political prisoners on major issues of the day. While a lot of the writing is by political prisoners, other activists, allies, revolutionaries and insightful outside voices are included. Views, thoughts, and analysis from the hearts and minds of North American Political Prisoners and friends.
Keep Your Coins, We Want Change
K.L. was incarcerated in NY State for five years. He is currently attending college in New York City studying engineering and is going to minor in physiology. His goal is to start a non-profit to help people who were incarcerated transition back to society.
Anthony Rayson Zine Collection
Accessible on DePaulUniversity Library Special Collections and Archives. This is a complete listing of South Chicago ABC Zine Distro, a distribution network to people in the "free world" and in prisons. Zines from prisoners around the country are included in the materials listed.
Michael Santos is currently in his 22nd year of continuous confinement for a first-time, non-violent crime. He writes about the prison system, the people it holds, and strategies for navigating confinement successfully.
The Beat Within/A Weekly Publication of Writing and Art from Inside
Jalil Muntaqim / Anthony Bottom
A selection of Jalil Muntaqim / Anthony Bottom's writings is available at the freejalil.com web site.
Correctional Capitalism in the "Land of the Free"
By Jens Soering. Prism Magazine, January-February 2008. Jens Soering is serving a life-sentence in Virginia. His most recent book is The Church of the Second Chance: A Faith-Based Approach to Prison Reform, to be released this spring by Lantern Books. His other books include The Convict Christ: What the Gospel Says About Criminal Justice (Orbis 2006), The Way of the Prisoner and An Expensive Way to Make Bad People Worse. To learn more about Jens Soering go to http://www.jenssoering.com
Inside Out: Voices from New Jersey State Prison
Poems, stories, memoirs, and commentaries by forty-three inmates. This is a 20-page sampler assembled by Kal Wagenheim, who for 5 years directed a creative writing workshop at the NJ State Prison in Trenton NJ. It is a small part of a 70,000 word book with inmates' poems, stories, essays. Some of the poems are also available online at http://www.jerseyworks.com/trentonstate.html.
The Voices.Con newsletter is published monthly by term-to-life prisoners in California focusing on issues of primary concern to those servicing a long-term incarceration. All material contained within Voices.Con has been provided exclusively by California's term-to-life prisoner population. The information has been designed to also be of potential benefit in other jurisdictions having term-to-life and long-term prisoners as well as citizens or family members.
A collection of writings by James Bauhaus, LCF 88367, 8607 SE Flowermound Road, Lawton, OK 73501.
PEN Prison Writing Program
Founded in 1971, the PEN Prison Writing Program believes in the restorative and rehabilitative power of writing, by providing hundreds of people who are incarcerated across the country with skilled writing teachers and audiences for their work. The program seeks to provide a place for prisoners to express themselves freely with paper and pen and to encourage the use of the written word as a legitimate form of power. The program sponsors an annual writing contest, publishes a free handbook for prisoners, provides one-on-one mentoring to inmates whose writing shows merit or promise, conducts workshops for former inmates, and seeks to get prisoners' work to the public through literary publications and readings. Prison Writing Program, PEN American Center 588 Broadway, Suite 303, New York, NY 10012 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: (212) 334-1660.
A Prisoner's Perspective
Blog by Dortell Williams. Dortell Williams is a prolific self-taught writer who has an interesting insight to share. Dortell will complete 18 years of continuous imprisonment (of a life sentence) this year. He has spent his time wisely, earning a correspondence paralegal certificate, as well as teaching himself Spanish, stock trading and many other useful subject. He is seeking a website to host his writings and an editor to help him compile hundreds of essays into a compelling book. He can be reached at H-45771/A2-103, P.O..Box 4430, Lancaster, CA 93539.
Looking in on Lockdown: A Private Diary for the Public
By Dortell Williams Dortell Williams is a forty-three-year-old life prisoner in California, where he has been confined for the last twenty years. A lover of learning, Williams calls prison his “university,” and proudly asserts that despite the inherent repression of prison, he has still accomplished “a list of personal achievements.” He is currently studying for an associate’s degree in Seminary through a correspondence course. He has taught himself to type, operate computers, communicate in Spanish, and earned a paralegal certificate. But most importantly to him, he has taught himself to write, and by that means he passionately represents the underclass, speaking tirelessly to the mass injustice his peers and social class suffer in chucks of decades on a daily basis. Williams is a proud father of a beautiful daughter, a mentor to many, and a follower of faith through action against scarce odds.