WATCH “Something’s Killing Me” Sunday, August 13th 9PM ET/PT

What It’s Like Ten Years After Killing My Parents

A Dime Piece By Danner Darcleight Ten years in. What does it feel like? To paraphrase Rodney Dangerfield in Back to School. It feels like only yesterday I went away... and you know what a [...]

Female Lifer Walks Us Through a Day in Her Cell

A Day in my Box By Dorothy Maraglino I try to sleep all day during the loud hours, so I can find peaceful silence alone overnight while others sleep.  Here's how my reverse schedule works. [...]

A Lifer Makes a No-Bake Sweet for Another Lifer’s Birthday

The Number By Edward Ji I am prepared to die: My name is Edward Mike Ji, now age seventeen, newly minted adult duly dubbed and declared so by Collin County Juvenile Court, inmate number 207989, [...]

Slave Work In the Fields: Digging a Trench Through Shit Creek

Fields By Edward Ji They call fields. You wake up. Comfort yourself. Cuddle your sheet and pretend it's a cat. Your cellie rushes to smoke a K2 stick (spice joint), to less feel the pain. [...]

My DIY Rehabilitation in Prison

One day I finally said to myself – “you killed someone” – a young man’s life is gone. And I wondered how my mother would feel if it had been me who had been killed. I began thinking about my victim’s mother.

Inmate Details His First Riot: The Scourge of Tear Gas

Gas By Edward Ji Nice guards don’t last long. Grandmothers here for the health insurance cry at the sight of blood; at the ritual brutalizing of nineteen-year-olds cuffed and parked along the hallway, too stupid [...]

My Life Was Spared on Death Row, But Poetry Saved Me First

BY KENNETH FOSTER, JR. In 2000, I was 23 and struggling to find myself in a sea of death row madness. The madness wasn't just from the inmates there, and their stories, but from the [...]

A Logical Breakdown of the Dysfunctional Prison System

Logic By Edward Ji How does prison work? The worst thing about prison is not how it captures men, but how it releases them. We are given nearly nothing. Maybe a GED. Only a handful [...]

Is Life Without Parole Worse Than A Death Sentence?

Courtesy, Joseph Dole Why I Am Still on Death Row by Joseph Dole I was never on “death row.” Instead of being sentenced to death by execution, I was sentenced to death by [...]

A Prison Theater Program Changed My Life

Finding Family: Volunteer Programs Bring About Lasting Rehabilitation in Prison BY Adam Roberts Courtesy Adam Roberts Phoenix Players Theatre Group (PPTG) is a small, selective theater group that operates quietly amidst the 1,600 [...]

A Prisoner Writes: Here Is Why Solitary Confinement is Torture

A Look Inside Solitary Confinement in Texas: The Legal Practice of Mental and Psychological Torture the CIA Way – from the War on Terror to the War on Prisoners (with some personal stories towards the [...]

Why Won’t Prisons Better Educate Prisoners?

Other than a person’s age there is no greater indicator of whether someone will recidivate than one’s level of education.

From Attica Prisoners To Harvard Law Students

By: John J. Lennon   The last great book I read made me cry and grind my teeth and pace my cell. It was written by a Harvard Law School graduate. It was Bryan Stevenson’s [...]

Warning: Borrow A Cup Of Coffee and You Could Become Someone’s Sex Slave

BY TRACY LEE KENDALL Courtesy of Tracy Lee Kendall Everyone in prison is ready to help in some way or another, but the word “help” has a very fluid definition. It can mean [...]

A Decade Spent in Supermax Solitary

Tamms was allegedly opened as a sort of "shock-treatment" for violent inmates and gang leaders. If the inmate behaved he was supposed to be transferred out after a year. This never occurred, though.

When a Bump On The Head is Just a Bump

I said everything I could to get the Safe Prisons Sergeant to believe that what had actually happened was the truth, but no one seemed to care.

A Prisoner’s Tips on Dealing with Police Officers

It’s surely proof that the world has gone to hell, when I become the voice of reason and defend the Boys in Blue. As a criminal who’s been arrested numerous times, I can assure you that cops don’t go out of their way to kill criminals. If they did, I’d be dead.

Book Review: Crook County: Racism and Injustice in Americas Largest Criminal Court

A decade ago Steve Bogira’s Courtroom 302 gave us a glimpse of the corrupt culture of the Circuit Court of Cook County’s courthouse at 26th and California in Chicago. Now a new book, Crook County: Racism and Injustice in America’s Largest Criminal Court....

What Is It Like To Get Life in Prison?

I spent the first few years of my natural life sentence muttering incoherently to myself and chewing my fingernails to bleeding nubs while I contemplated the most painless methods of suicide for American prisoners. How’s a 23-year old kid supposed to process having to spend the rest of his life in a cage? He doesn’t. How does anyone at any age make sense of a future of captivity? He can’t.

Dogs in Prison

Walk the Dog By Chris Dankovich "Up Against The Wall!" Courtesy of "Manners for Mutts." Another dogs in prison program in Kentucky. When the prison I've grown up in partnered with a local [...]

Is Prison The Right Place for Zach?

Getting a visit can almost be harder than not ever setting any at all. The pain of seeing them walk away, for what can seem like forever, or the feeling of being nothing more than a burden or a pity, can be more painful than the high that seeing the person brings.

Future Dreams

I've fallen asleep alone every night of my life. For half my life there's been another person in the room, but that's not the same. While I don’t have anyone lying next to me to keep me warm, I've imagined someone there every single night. My arms around my pillow, fingers weaving between the sheets, I imagine a lover's hand, hair, face. I've woken up kissing the pillow, embarrassed, the next moment scraping lint and dust off my lips.

From A Dear Reader…

Dear Prison Writers, Just wanted you to know that I am excited to share this site with people I know... Our family went through the whole “intro to prison life” when my 40-year-old husband drove [...]