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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 lois@realcostofprisons.org

To submit political and analytical writing, please send to The Real Cost of Prisons Project. There is no payment available for posting writings.

For more information, contact lois@realcostofprisons.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

Bruce Allen

C-61243, P.O. Box 4430, A1-139, Lancaster, CA 93539

James M. Anderson

#12058943, 2605 State Street, Salem, OR 97310

  • Preparing for a Parole Hearing June 2020
  • COVID-19 June 2020
  • Man Walking
  • Imagine
  • Looking at Me Through the Glass
  • Sophia (August 2018) James Anderson was awarded First Place in Memoir in PEN America's 2018 Prison Writing Contest
  • By an anonymous MA prisoner, 2/22/2011


  • Justice Denied: The Compelling Case of a Man Who Beyond Any Reasonable Doubt is Innocent, Yet Sits on Florida's Death Row
  • If you would like to contact William Kelley, write to:
    William Kelley
    Union Correctional Institution
    7819 NW 228 St.
    Raiford, FL32026

    Joseph Aragon

    RIP March 9, 2015

  • Where Do You Go? 4/6/2009
  • California S.H.U.s (5/2010)
  • My Existence (11/09)
  • Two poems:: "Forest of Stone" and "Can you feel my pain?"
  • Long Quiet Mornings (PDF)
  • My Space in This Place, May 2009
  • Two poems:, "Gnashing of Teeth" and "Society is Dying," April 2009
  • Five poems: "Big Money Deals," "Solitary Confinement," "I Am Validated," "Concrete and Steal," and "Twisted Minds"
  • Five more poems
  • Three poems, January 2009
  • Author Unknown

    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
  • "Coach" Baltimore

    Jacob Barrett

    SID# 11123024, Oregon State Correctional Institution, 3405 Deer Park Drive, S.E. Salem, OR 97310

  • Reflections Reflections from Jacob Barrett. Jacob has been incarcerated since 1994. "The stories I will start posting before long begin with my entry into the prison system as a young person. These will feel like the darker stories of prison because they are and there are many. The reason why I am going to write about those experiences is because I want people to see how the inside culture in prisons can negatively influence people and suppress rehabilitation. This is especially true when it involves young offenders who adopt the prison culture and either fall deeper into the cycle of criminal thinking or commit more violent crimes in prison. The point of the stories, in part, will be to show that you cannot define people solely by a bad act or acts.

    "Using myself as an example, if you looked at my prison history on its face value I would look like a hardened criminal with little empathy. However, when you take the time to learn my story as a whole you begin to see I represent a very real human experience and that is how we as creatures can be influenced by our environment and yet at my core, the very foundation of who I am, is a good human being.

    "These stories over time will give you a window into my own evolution as a man and why there needs to be genuine reforms in the Corrections system in our Country that take into account change, mercy, second chances, third chances, and the reality that our system in its current form does not protect society or reform prisoners in a meaningful way. This is why countries like Norway have moved away from the US model and as a result have reduced recidivism and why our so called "tough-on-crime" policies hurt society more than help. It is possible to be tough on crime and also have laws that recognize mercy.

  • 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
  • Oregon Then
  • Prison Culture
  • 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 (Sept. 2016)
  • Our Enemies in Blue (book review)
  • Court Update, June 23, 2016
  • Orlando (poem)
  • In Memory of the Orlando Souls
  • A Few Points
  • Exiled in Purgatory: Solitary Confinement Is Physical Starvation By Another Name
  • Oceans Away 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
  • Thunderdome
  • 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
  • Asatru
  • I Demand
  • Privatized health and prisons
  • Religion Used for Hate
  • Response to Mary S
  • Stop Lying
  • Mr. Clair L. Beazer

    Great news! Clair is no longer in prison.

    Clair Beazer sent this quote in a recent New Year's card: "We who lived in the concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of his freedoms-to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way." -Viktor E. Frankl-"Man's Search for Meaning"
  • Please Help See also a related bill in the Colorado legislature
  • Colorado DOC in Need of Correction
  • Specious Versimilitude
  • Lockdowns and Monsters
  • It Is Another Sad Day in the C.D.O.C.
  • Running Joke
  • Video Visitation
  • Marcus Bedford

    Marcus Bedford is no longer incarcerated. Some of his cartoons can be found on our Comix from Inside.
  • Niggerable Offense
    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

  • Letter, April 2013
  • Marlon Blacher

    CDC #G50077, Bed: Dr/211, P.O. Box 4670, Lancaster, CA 93539-4670

  • Crime Pays
  • CDC-R?
  • Actions Speak Louder, with author's note: "My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of Trayvon Martin and Oscar Grant."
  • Freedom and Justice
  • A Humble Proposal
  • Michael Braae

    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

    Keith Burley

    Smart Communications/PADOC, Keith Burley Jr., EC0000, SCI Fayette, P.O. Box 33028, St. Petersburg, FL 33733

    Keith Burley writes, "Please publish this writing of mine on your website and include my name and address beneath, encouraging fellow writers, poets and anyone interested in prison reform to contact me."
  • The Beast!
  • A Prelude to Madness: An Analysis of Incarceration and the Mentally Ill
  • The Hole (poem)
  • Cevelino Capuia

    16118143, OSCI, 3400 Deer Park Drive SE, Salem, OR 97310

    Edwin Castro

    #95A6664, Green Haven Correctional Facility, P.O. Box 4000, Stormville, NY 12582-0010

    Jerome Coffey

    Smart Communications/PADOC, Jerome Coffey, AS-1558, SCI Albion, P.O. Box 33028, St. Petersburg, FL 33733

  • Womb
  • 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
  • Michael Contreraz

    C-45857 D4-104L, P.O. Box 5242, Corcoran, CA 93232

    Al Cunningham

    San Quentin Prison, P.O. Box E-22600 (1E69), San Quentin, CA 94974

    Joseph Dole

    K84446 Stateville Correctional Center, P.O. Box 112, Joliet, IL 60434

    Joseph Dole

    Joseph Dole

    Joe Dole and Angela Davis at his commencement from the University Without Walls, Stateville Prison, IL. May 2019. Dole and Davis were commencement speakers.

  • Chicago Police Department Perpetuates Its Violence by Punishing Whistleblowers A new article in Truthout by Joe Dole with some of his paintings. Police violence is not about “good apples” and “bad apples” — it is structural. Published January 3, 2024
  • Disinfecting the Criminal Legal System of Punitive Deterrence (DePaul Journal of Social Justice, December 2023) refutes the myth that long prison sentences are necessary to deter crime.
  • 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.
  • Indefinite Discipline 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.
  • Dole Native American drawing

    Drawing of Native American by Joseph Dole

  • Death in Prison: the Top 3 Killers
  • The Chicago Police Department: At the Pinnacle of Police Corruption, and A Menace to Society
  • Brief bio
  • 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?
  • H.U.A.C. Redux
  • 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.

    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

  • Leonard Donald

    W80257, MCI Cedar Junction, DDU, P.O. Box 100, South Walpole, MA 02071

    John Feroli

    Old Colony Prison, Bridgewater, MA

    Shawn Fisher

    W58410, 1 Administration Road, Bridgewater, MA 02324

  • DOC Superintendent Responds to Tarnishing Commissioner's Mici's Legacy
  • Out of the Abyss (December 2022) Out of the Abyss focuses on individuals who have committed crimes and those who have dedicated their lives to helping them change. Shawn Fisher focuses on what life was like growing up, what led him to crime, what the catalyst for change was, and how they have used that change to effectuate change in others. The book offers a brief glimpse into the life of criminality and the challenges of incarceration. A must-read for anyone looking to find a great resource for teaching Criminal Justice students, enlightening At-Risk Youth of the consequences of their actions and providing inspiration to those Incarcerated.
  • Doc Murders Inmate
  • Why We Need to End Life Without Parole
  • Cancer Becomes Contagious (September 2016)
  • Michael Flores

    #31372, WMCI, 7076 Rd. 55 F, Torrington, WY 82240

  • Response letter on Justice Reinvestment in Wyoming To David D'Amora, Senior Policy Advisor, Council of State Governments; and to Dan Kirchbride, Wyoming State Representative. Jan. 1, 2019
  • Americas' Sustainable Civil War: The Antithesis of Humyn Advancement 9-2-2018
  • David Garcia

    98A6674, Attica Corr. Facility, Box 149, Attica, NY 14011-0149

    Richard Geffken

    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

  • White Slavery - Abolish the Exclusion Clause
  • Appeal to the Public, 8/09
  • Letter to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, 8/09
  • Forward by Luis Gonzalez and Jose Felix, both whom are incarcerated in Corcoran, CA. Luis was asked for a comment to be included in the book edition of the Real Cost of Prisons Comix. This is what they wrote.
  • Kristopher J. Govea

    F17942, CA Correctional Institution, 4B-4A-111, P.O. Box 1906, Tehachapi, CA 93591

    Richard Gennerro Grasso

    CW6956, SCI Greene, Smart Communications/PA DOC, P.O. Box 33028, St. Petersburg, FL 33733

    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.
  • Marcos Gray

    K69488, Stateville Corr. Center, P.O. Box 112, Joliet, IL 60434

  • Subconsciously Unconscious “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

  • Fast Facts: Continuing Increases in Incarceration Costs 2016-2024
  • Prisoner Deaths in the MA-DOC 2017-2022
  • Medical Costs in the MA DOC. Endless Double Digit Increases, 2016-2022
  • Prisoners That Have Served 15 or More Years and Prisoners That Have Served 25 or more years
  • Medical Parole for MA First-Degree Murderers: Mixed Humanitarian and Financial Outcomes
  • 14-Year Census of MA First Degree LWOP Prisoners, 1/1/2009 - 12/31/2022 For context: The number of people incarcerated in state prisons in MA on July 2, 2022 was 5,950. As of 12-31-22, the number of people with LWOP sentences was 1038. Data includes for the dates January 1, 2009- 12-31-22: LWOP Census as of Jan 1, # of New LWOP Commitments, LWOP Prisoner Deaths, LWOP Medical Parole, LWOP Court Releases, End of Year LWOP Census
  • Lifers' Group Fast Facts: Wrongful First-Degree Murder Convictions in MA 2009-2022 "Over the last 14 years, 74 prisoners, equaling an eye-opening 7.2% of all the MA prisoners convicted of first-degree murder sentenced to Life Without Parole, needed to be released by the courts because of wrongful convictions. The 29 listed who were identified and the years they served before release are listed in the Table. Cumulatively, they served 911 years, averaging 31 years. Our findings support alarming conclusion that too many defendants have been wrongfully convicted of first-degree murder and that LWOP sentences are especially inappropriate with rates of wrongful convictions surely well above 7%."
  • 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 2021-01-10
  • 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

  • Open Letter to Legislators concerning the end of funding for law libraries and the Inmate Benefit Funds and Program Funds
  • Details of expenditures for Law Libraries and Inmate Benefit Accounts
  • Once Should Be Enough This is an essay by Gordon Haas, detailing the consequences of the DOC's "predilection for imposing what are known as Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) rather than regulations". Regulations require a public hearing and input from the public and even people who incarcerated. This essay focuses on the DOC's beginning in 2019 unsuccessful attempt to stop people who are incarcerated from sending their family and loved ones small amounts of funds. Five prisoners filed a lawsuit challenging the validity of this SOP. On January 5, 2024, five years after the DOC had implemented the SOP--the required public hearing was held. And, on March 15, 2024, the DOC published its regulations, negating many of the restrictions contacted in the SOP. A victory! After 5 years, incarcerated people can once again send their family and loved ones funds.
  • Lifer's Group Fast Facts: DOC Program Spending 2023 In 2023, the DOC spent $9,347,102 on programs out of a budget of $746,554.721. This attached document details where the $9,347,102 was spent.
  • Parole Decisions for Lifers 2023 Some highlights: Approval rate for Lifers represented by counsel was 59%; Approval rate for Lifers not represented by counsel was 41%; Approval rate for Initial Hearings was 21.9%; Approval Rate for Review Hearings was 65.1%; 86 days was the average time between Hearing Dates an Dates of Decision; Restorative Justice was the program often cited for Approved Lifers.
  • A Report on the Income and Expenses from the MA DOC's Central Inmate Benefit Fund: Central Inmate Benefit Fund, Central Law Library Fund, and Central Program Account For the period of July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023.
  • MA DOC Expenditures and Staffing Levels FY 2023 (December 2023) Some highlights: Employee expenses (60.6%) plus prisoner health costs (26.5%) equaled 87.1% of the total expenditures by the DOC in FY 2023. Expenditures by the DOC in FY 2023 for prisoner programs decreased by 41.5%. The MA prisoner population as of Jan 1, 2023 was 5,847, a decrease of 135 or 2% from the total MA prisoner population on Jan 1, 2022 of 5,952. Total DOC expenditures for 2023: $746,554,721. Educational staff: 82 or 2.0% of expenditures. Security staff: 2,849.
  • An Open Letter to Commissioner of Correction Carol Mici Questions posed: 1. Why on July 1, 2023 were minimum and pre-release facilities operating at 43% of capacity? 2. Why are only 18% of prisoners participating in educational programs? 3. Have correctional officers who received fraudulent overtime pay been required to reimburse the DOC? 4. Why does the DOC seek to homogenize all the prisons?
  • A Report on the MA DOC Based on DOC Institutional Fact Cards, 7/1/23 New report from Gordon Haas: A Report on the Massachusetts Department of Correction's based on DOC Institutional Fact Cards, as of July 1, 2023 (September 2023). Data includes: Breakdown of MA Housed Prisoners By Status and Security Levels, Breakdown of MA Housed Prisoners by Race and Age, Breakdown of MA Housed Prisoners by Sentence Length, Breakdown of MA Housed Prisoners by Governing Offense, Breakdown of Lifers Housed in MA Facilities, Breakdown of Prisoners Populations and Operational Capacities in MA Facilities, Breakdown of Prisoner Populations and Operational Capacities in MA Facilities by Security Levels, Comparison of July 1, 2023 and July 1, 2022, % of Racial Populations, % of Racial Populations by Security Levels, Commentary
  • The Worst of the Worst August 31, 2023. "District attorneys engage in plea bargaining for two reasons: one, to avoid the expense off a time consuming trial, and two, to avoid the possibility, however remote, that a defendant might be found not guilty. Concern for the victim's family members and/or the specific fasts of the killing are in their and fourth place. Simply put, expediency trumps justice." "I have studied parole decisions for lifers over the past twenty years. I have been struck by the fact hat in nearly all of the decisions in which a defendant had pled guilty to a second degree sentence, one or more representatives of the respective district attorney's office testified at the parole hearing, orally, in writing or both against the granting parole to the lifer. Part or all of their oppositions to granting a parole were the facts of the crime. This begs the question: If the facts of the crime were so severe as to block a parole, then why was a plea deal offered in the first place? Answer: expediency." --
  • A Tribute to Jorge Zerquera "Jorge Zerquera, a lifer incarcerated for forty years, ended his life on Friday night, November 17, 2023 in the Behavior Adjustment Unit (BAU) at MCI-Norfolk (MCIN). Jorge's action stunned and shocked the Norfolk prison community. Jorge was a very active member of our community- both religious ans secular. Jorge was much respected, valued, loved by his fellow prisoners. He lived the adage that he would "give the shirt off his back" to anyone he saw in need."
  • Keefe Group Price Increases Keefe is raising prices now in advance of the possibility of this bill passing. Bill S.1493 Creem and H.2325 Fluker Oakley, An Act relative to rehabilitation, re-entry, and human rights for incarcerated persons.

    (9) " All incarcerated people shall have access to commissary on a weekly basis that is appropriate for their race, culture and gender identity, and commissary shall not be restricted unless the Superintendent makes an individualized determination that such restriction is necessary, explained in writing. Prices for items shall be in line with community prices and state or county correctional facilities shall not charge more than 3 percent over the purchase cost for commissary items. Culturally, racially, gender appropriate, and gender affirming items shall be made equally available as all other items. Incarcerated Black, Indigenous, and people of color shall be permitted to provide input at least quarterly on what items are deemed racially and culturally appropriate. Incarcerated women, transgender, and gender nonconforming people shall be permitted to provide input at least quarterly on what items are deemed appropriate and affirming for their gender identity. The catalogue of items shall be made accessible to incarcerated people and the public. The department of correction and sheriffs shall maximize opportunities to purchase commissary items in bulk and shall not receive revenue, financial incentives or commissions, in any contract with suppliers of commissary items. Any service, benefit or program for incarcerated people to which commissary commissions were specifically designated in fiscal year 2023 including, but not limited to, the Inmate Benefit Fund, The Law Library and the Central Program Account in the state prison system, shall be funded by the department of correction and the sheriffs at not less than the level of funding in fiscal year 2023. "

  • Growth in Prison Gordon Haas, long-time Chairman of the Norfolk Lifer's Group, writes a trenchant and heartbreaking essay about four programs, now gone. What these programs meant for the people who helped shape them and the hundreds, perhaps thousands, who benefited from them: Project Youth, The Boston University/University of Massachusetts Prison Education Program, the Cursillo and the Norfolk Debating Society.
  • A Tale of Three Norfolks (May 2023) Before there were pilgrimages to Norway...there was Norfolk.

    Reading Gordon's essay, a "Tale of Three Norfolks", I couldn't help but think of how Norfolk was once a "correctional" model very close to what Norway is now doing. Here in Massachusetts, instead of moving forward, we are moving backward. As Gordon writes: "Rehabilitation as the goal of the DOC turned into punishment. There is an old adage about incarceration: Prisons are for confining the punished or for punishing the confined."

  • 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. (June 2019)
  • Lifers' Group Inc. Fast Facts: Medical Costs in the Massachusetts DOC: A stunning surge (August 2019)
  • 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 (November 2018)
  • A Report on MA DOC Expenditures and Staffing Levels for FY 2018 (November 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 January 2018.
  • 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 (July 2016)
  • 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.
  • Matthew Hattley

    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
  • Paying Homage
  • 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"
  • Inside the Box: Parole Reform Now, October 9, 2014
  • Inside the Box: Parole Decision: the Breakdown, September 4, 2014
  • Inside the Box: Reasonable Doubt parts 1 and 2
  • An index to the "Inside the Box" columns
  • Inside the Box: Maximum to Medium Security: A Step Close to Home?
  • Inside the Box: Immoral Justice
  • In Search of Truth
  • Could 2014 Be A Year of Promise?
  • Four columns from the Shawangunk Journal. Matthew Hattley writes a regular column "Inside the Box". Posted here are: "A Prisoner Tells His Tale", "The Importance of Communication", "The Relevance of Education: Pre and Post Incarceration" and "The Marriott It's Not." The Shawangunk Journal does not have its own search feature, nor is it completely archived, but you can do a Google Search of it by following this link.
  • Wes Hester

    47129, 185 Dr. Michael Jenkins Road, Clayton, NM 88415

    David Hinman

    #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)

  • Norfolk Inspection Report Nov. 2023 Inspection Report including 375 repeat violations.
  • 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.
  • Waste 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
  • 66-Cent Lunch
  • Andrew Housworth

    62161 ECF, Box 311, El Dorado, KS 67042

    F. DeAndre Howard

    #07757-089, Federal Correctional Institution, P.O. Box 5000, Pekin, IL 61555-5000

    Letter from F. DeAndre Howard, February, 2007. Contact the author at Reg.

    Patrick Irving

    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."
  • Aaron Isby-Israel

    Doc #892219, SHU B1012, P.O. Box 1111, Wabash Valley Correctional Facility, 6908 S. Old US Hwy 41, Carlisle, IN 47838

    Jarvis Jackson

    V34031, Suwannee C.I., 5964 U.S. Highway 90, Live Oak, FL 32064

    Charles James

    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

    Kevin Johnson

    #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.

    James Keown

    W92519, MCI Shirley, Harvard Rd., P.O. Box 1218, Shirley, MA 01464

  • Money Is Not the Problem Before any serious consideration is given to expanding the department's budget, I request that you and fellow Legislators consider the following budget note suggestions:

    1. Require the DOC to submit budget requests divided into categories, such as , Security, Operations, and Education/Programming: and then lock funding into the specific categories.

    2. Require that all incarcerated people be provided a meaningful change to earn good time very month through traditions offerings (e.g., school and work) and thought nontraditional offerings, such as self-help programs....

  • Prison Healthcare Means Not Knowing What’s Slowly Destroying My Body For over two years, a mystery illness has made it hard for James Keown to walk, sit up and eat. Now he wonders if he has to die to be diagnosed.
  • Norfolk Medical Director Out After Only Months "Health care" and Wellpath.
  • Postcards from the Pandemic - "The Ride"
  • Justice Denied - 5/31/20
  • Postcards from the Pandemic - "Blue Sky", May 14
  • Postcards from a Prison Pandemic: Quality of Character
  • Postcards from the Prison Pandemic - Moon Shot 6 - Money for Nothing
  • Postcards from the Prison Pandemic - Moon Shot 5 - The Wall (Norfolk)
  • Postcards from the Prison Pandemic - Moon Shot 4 - What Was Old Could Be New Again. (Rehabilitative programming)
  • Postcards from the Prison Pandemic - Moon Shot 3 - The Assembly Line
  • Postcards from the Prison Pandemic - Moon Shot 2 - The Elderly Question
  • Postcards from a Prison Pandemic
  • The Nine Hour Two Week Lockdown - A Coronavirus Update 4/10/20
  • Imagine: A Coronavirus Update - 4-6-20
  • Norfolk during COVID-19 - April 5, 2020
  • Norfolk Lifers' Group opposes Keefe price gouging and contract renewal
  • League Leaders Visit Lifers (in Norfolk Prison)
  • Comments made by James Keown, Vice-Chair of the Lifer's Group, to representatives of the Congressional Black Caucus, MA legislators, the Suffolk Co Sheriff and District Attorney when they visited Norfolk Priosn on January 13, 2020.
  • Shouts and Murmurs: My First Trip to A Themed Hotel in The Norfolker
  • Give 'Em Health
  • Truth
  • The Sand Castle
  • No Person
  • Touching Letters
  • It's Your Move
  • Kenneth M. Key

    A-70562, P.O. Box 112, Joliet, IL 60434-0112

    Ivan Kilgore

    V31306, CSP-Solano Level III, FA3-232, P.O. Box 4000, Vacaville, CA 95696-4000

    Brian Knippers

    W95692, NCCI-Gardner, P.O. Box 466, Gardner, MA 01440

    Joe Labriola

    RIP Joe Labriola

    Joe passed away on July 4, 2020. He finally was released on March 2019 after serving 45 years in prison in Massachusetts.
  • The Double Punishment of Dying
  • Life Without
  • John Letellier

    128457, HCC, R-A-9, P.O. Box 2049, Airway Heights, WA 99001


    Kern Valley State Prison

    Jerimiah Martin

    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

    Davon McNeil

  • 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

  • Gift!
  • False Imprisonment (Feb. 2021)
  • NC DPS Gouging Prisoners
  • Wasteful
  • Dear Madam or Sir (first correspondence with Real Cost of Prisons)
  • Abdur Nadheeru-Islam

    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)

  • Report: Massachusetts Department of Correction, Financial Mismanagement II This report reflects a date review of public records from the Massachusetts Department of Correction (DOC). Massachusetts Correctional Officers Federal Union (MCOFU) officials in collaboration with DOC administrators continue to manipulate facts and data and oppose any light shined on these facts.
  • On A Request for an Emergency Prison Intervention An essay by Bridget Conley. "We, Americans, allow prisons to cite ‘security’ as a bulwark against transparency, accountability and rule of law. The result should not be surprising: abuses inside prisons are the logical outgrowth of fostering authoritarian spaces. Even in Massachusetts, a state with relatively low incarceration rates and where reforms passed in 2018 helped to accelerate downward trends in the total prison population, abuse runs rampant. No one knows this better than incarcerated people, who, as they have argued themselves, want a system that is safe, logical and rule-bound, and which offers real opportunities for rehabilitation. That is not what exists. On February 20, 2023, the Norfolk Inmate Council (NIC), an elected body presenting incarcerated people at MCI-Norfolk, issued a letter to Gov. Maura Healey requesting an emergency intervention on issues they documented. The link also includes a cover letter from Prisoner Legal Services, which tried to investigate the allegations but had “limited access to records and resources.”
  • MA Department of Correction: Culture of Punishment & Corruption
  • Use of Force Report - Norfolk Inmate Council 2023 The NIC review includes: Black prisoners: 2.5 times more than white prisoners Latino prisoners: 2.3 times more likely than white prisoners. "Summary: With the DOC's hearing December 2022 for use of force there was no mention to better report on Mental Health & LGBTQ+ Use of Force. Neither was there any discussion on how to decrease Use of Force, reduce injury to inmates. There was no mention as to the clear disparity in use of force for Black & Brown People. Providing concern as to the structural racism in these practices. It appears as though the DOC intends to utilize Use of Force in an ongoing and concerning manner."
  • 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."
  • Norfolk Lifer's Group

  • The 2024 Norfolk Lifer's Group Resource Guide This Resource Guide includes useful information for all people incarcerated in MA and for advocates, loved ones and friends.
  • Story of Richard Valliere Profiles of Richard Valliere, who is 77 and has been incarcerated for 52 years and Edward Fielding, 73 and incarcerated for 51 years. They are two of 64 MA DOC former "trustees" who were removed from minimum security prisons where they were permitted to work, stay with family, visit with relatives who were ill, attend funerals, travel around the state doing construction projects and then return to prison. Between 1980 and 1987, Mr. Valliere returned to the community without incident on furloughs at least one hundred times. In 1987, the furlough program ended and Richard Valliere and Edward Fielding were incarcerated in medium security prisons, where they are now.
  • Story of Edward Fielding
  • Story of George Magrath Written in 2017, Magrath passed away in May 2022 at home after receiving medical parole in 2019.
  • Story of Lewis Dickerson
  • Story of Daniel Ferreria
  • July 2023 Briefly looks at the history of incarceration and asks for our action and support for "justice tempered with mercy."
  • Special Edition: Should These Two Men and Several Others Like Them Be Given A Second Chance?
  • Creative Alternatives in Criminal Justice is a new project from the Norfolk Lifer's Group and Project Youth at Norfolk.

    Terry Olney

    60345, P.O. Box 11099, Omaha, NE 68111-0099

    Michael Owens

    J25599, High Desert State Prison C8-108, P.O. Box 3030, Susanville, CA 96127

    Michael has a web page at Voices for Inmates, and can be contacted via the e-mail form there.
  • The Problem Worse Than Crime: Notes On Juvenile Justice and Pyrrhic Victory (PDF, 2009)
    Quote by Angela Davis sent by Michael Owens:
    Jails and prisons are designed to break human beings, to convert the population into specimens at a zoo-obedient to our keepers, but dangerous to each other.
  • David Perryman

    AB 1204, D7290, CA Men's Colony State Prison, P.O. Box 8101, San Luis Obispo, CA 93409-8101

    Brian J. Polley

  • Consider This
    Good news! Brian Polley is no longer in prison.
  • Christopher Poree

    A311-507, Grafton Correctional Institution, 2500 S. Avon Belden Road, Grafton, Ohio 44044

    John Raymond

    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.

    Karter Kane Reed was sentenced to prison at age 16. He has been incarcerated for 19 years as of June 2011.
  • An excellent letter writtten in response to The Boston Globe reporter Michael Rezendes' "Paroled Lifers" story published on 6/19/11. The fear-mongering and ill-informed front page article can be found here.
  • The Vision: A Conceptualization of an Effective Correctional System (And its Implementation)
  • The Cornerstone of Change (an essay about the role of Lifers in the prison system)
  • 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
  • Ending the Obscenity of Prisons
  • Prisons ARE Factories of Failure
  • The Prison System is Broken
  • A New Approach Towards Abolishing Prisons This paper was read by Mechthild Nagel on behalf of Tiyo Attallah Salah-El at the International Conference on Penal Aboliton in London, July 2008.
  • The Expanding Prison Planet
  • A Call for the Abolition of Prisons
  • A New Approach Towards Abolishing Prisons (2008)
  • Gregg Savajian

    #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.
  • Anastazia Schmid

    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.
  • Captive Patients 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

    Brian Shepperd

    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

    Michael Skinner

    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!

  • Drug Sentences Doing More Harm Than Good, letter to Decatur Tribune, 9/2013
  • Dear Governor Quinn and a letter to the Pekin Times
  • Tell Me, Where's the Downside?
  • It's Time to Correct Correction's Policies
  • Spyres' case was documented in an article in the Illinois Times, "The War on Weed: Prohibition Costs Big Bucks" (Feb. 9, 2012). View it at http://www.illinoistimes.com/Springfield/article-9633-the-war-on-weed.html
  • Joseph Stanwick

    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."

    Davis Stephenson

    #118218, NFCF, 1605 East Main St., Sayre, OK 73662

    DJ Taylor

    #179983 Northern Supermax, P.O. Box 665, Somers, CT 06071.

    Jon Marc Taylor

    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.

  • This Side of My Struggle: Prisoners on Suffering, Surrendering and Breaking Free
    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 pages.
  • Kebby Warner, Michigan

    Good news! Kebby Warner is no longer incarcerated
  • Review of The Real Cost of Prisons Comix
  • One Woman's Struggle
  • Mr. Kelly Lee Watts

    35401/5A-17, Potosi Correctional Center, 11593 State Highway O, Mineral Point, MO 63660

    Willie Wilkerson

    African-American Coalition Committee, MCI Norfolk

    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

    Dortell Williams

    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.
  • Formal Request for Comparison Study of California Prisoners Serving Life Sentences Without Parole to Those Servicing Life With Parole
  • Making Sense Out of Life Without the Possibility of Parole (32 pp, 5 MB PDF)
  • Convictions of the Innocent, by Dortell Williams and Tony Majoy
  • Dortell Williams is an award-winning essayist and writer. He is the author of Looking in on Lockdown: a Private Diary for the Public, an excellent book available through Buy Books on the Web.

    Dortell wrote the introductory essay for the newly published Seeking Redemption....At the Age of Innocence by Joshua King. His essay "Making Sense of Life Without the Possibility of Parole" is is anthologized in the newly published book, Too Cruel, Not Unusual Enough, an anthology published by The Other Death Penalty Project, edited by Kenneth Hartman.

    Please respond directly to Dortell at the address above.

    Ezzial Williams

    #228036, P. O. Box 23608 Tampa, Florida 33623

    Ezzial "EZ" Williams

    Michael Smokey Wilson

    After 46 years, Smokey Wilson is a free man!

  • Lifers Incorporated Commutation Committee Information Sheet, December 21, 2010 by Michael Smokey Wilson, Chairman. Compiled prior to the commutation of Tyrone A. Werts, William Fultz, and Kevin O. Smith.
  • Letter from Michael Smokey Wilson, Lifers, Inc/End Violence Projects. Contact information:
  • Willie Worley, Jr

    0453523, B.C.I. #4880, Windsor, NC 27983

  • Proposal of Understanding Letter to Gov. Beverly Purdue and others on damaging footwear.
  • See also Willie Worley, Jr.'s Comix from Inside

    Derek Wright

    W80355, P.O. Box 100, South Walpole, MA 02071

    Andrew John Yellowbear, Jr.

    #24244, Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution, 7076 Road 55F, Torrington, WY 82240

    Donald Young

    1142114-5A-4, Haynesville Corr. Center, P.O. Box 129, Haynesville, VA 22472

    Christopher Zoukis

    Federal Correctional Institution, Petersburg P.O. Box 1000, #22132-058, Petersburg, VA 23804

  • Federal Prison Handbook: The Definitive Guide to Surviving the Federal Bureau of Prisons Middle Street Publishing. (2017). This is a the definitive guide for men in and about to enter the Federal prison system.
  • Writing: Inside and Outside

    News Inside: The Marshall Project

    A nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization that covers the US criminal legal system. Produces News Inside, a print publication distributed nationally in jails and prisons. News Inside contains a compilation of journalism about new legal developments, prison programs, stories that inspire hope, criminal science reads and “Life Inside” stories, which readers could have a chance to write themselves. Produces Inside Story, a video series shown on facility televisions and tablets provided to incarcerated people. The series takes viewers inside Marshall Project stories, featuring interviews with journalists as they report on the criminal legal system and special guests who will bring their lived experience of the system to the conversation.

    People who are currently incarcerated and interested in receiving News Inside directly, or who want to request that we reach out to their facilities to provide Inside Story can write to:

    News Inside Manager
    The Marshall Project
    156 West 56th Street, 3rd Floor
    New York, NY 10019


    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
    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.   rodmartinhawaii@gmail.com
    Prison Poetry Project: A collection of Creative Writing Workshop ideas and poetry by Rod Martin.

    Prison Renaissance
    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.

    Writers Bloc
    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
    Winter 2015
    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
    Free back issues of Captured Words Free Thoughts can be found at https://clas.ucdenver.edu/communication/research-creative-work/captured-words-free-thoughts. Please see the 20th anniversary issue.

    APFFC Newsletter


    Mass Prison Voice

    Prisoner Express
    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

    Christopher Petrella
    • "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: thelastanarchist@aol.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
    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.

    James Bauhaus
    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: pen@pen.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.

    © 2003-2011 The Real Cost of Prisons Project