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 from Texas to Colorado to rob a marijuana dispensary. Dumb move. He’s serving time in Colorado and the rest of us have suffered greatly for [...]

SUPER FRIENDS: a Book Recommendation!

SUPER FRIENDS by Whit Smith SUMMARY from AMAZON: Super Friends In late 2008 twenty-four year old Cincinnati native Whitney Smith begins writing a blog he titles "Super Friends" from his solitary confinement cell at USP Terre Haute, where he is half-way through a 6 ½ year sentence for unarmed bank robbery. With no computer access, he mails handwritten [...]

Getting Parole Is A Sham In Texas

By: J.S. Slaymaker, Contributing Writer The best thing about being in prison is getting out. To do that, an inmate has two options, aside from dying while inside. The first is to serve it out in full, day for day. The second is get out early on parole. And to do that, you have to "act right" and accumulate enough [...]

The Hurricane: Juvenile’s First Day In Prison

By: Chris Dankovich, Contributing Writer First days are sitting in an inflatable life-raft in the ocean while the winds whip around you in a hurricane. Giant waves crash violently around you, and the winds and currents own you. Paddle if it calms the current in your soul, or ride the swell with open arms, because either way there has never [...]

Sexhibition

Daniel H. Harris By: Daniel Harris, Contributing Writer Men who publicly masturbate in prison to add spice to their fantasies used to be a rarity. Twenty-four years later, that is no longer the case. Back in the day, it was predominately black prisoners exposing themselves. White and Hispanic gangs refrained because their gangs enforced discipline with its own [...]

They Can’t Break My Spirit

By: Mustafa Zulu, Contributing Writer "In order to reform a criminal you must first break his spirit." - Elam Lynds, warden of Sing Sing prison in New York Last month I was busted with a knife and been here in the hole since. Winter months in North Dakota State Penitentiary (NDSP) are the worse time to be slammed in the hole. [...]

The Wrath of Sling Blade

By: Whitney Smith, Featured Writer Early this morning, just before breakfast, I was jarred awake by the yells of an eerily familiar voice. It was the grainy, guttural bark which will be forever burned into my memory. "Sir... Excuse me, sir! My name is Glutton Nickerson! I need a towel, sir!" Sling Blade was back. It has been a while [...]

I Joined Facebook From Prison!

By: Jeremy Farler, Contributing Writer As I stared at the cell phone screen prompting me to register and start to build my own Facebook page, what was shining back at me was the light of opportunity. I had already done the impossible. Even I couldn't believe how quickly I was able to talk her into bringing in a cellphone. But [...]

The Gross Things Prisoners Do When The Water Is Shut Off

By: Daniel H. Harris, Contributing Writer Eastham is an old prison with a slowly decaying network of pipes to provide water and remove sewage. For one reason or another we are without running water every few months. In the free world this would only be inconvenient. In a prison, well, read on. They do rolling flushes of each line [cell block [...]

A Prison Program Changed My Life

By: Carrie Ames, Contributing Writer Somewhere in the purgatory between jail and prison I was convinced that prison would be a land of opportunity.  I was told of advanced education, treatment, activities — glorified misperceptions by people who had never been to prison, whose closest experiences were TV shows, fictional books and the misleading DOC [Department of Corrections] websites. After [...]

Former Cop, Now Inmate, Says Mentally Ill In Prison Are Abused

By: Edwin Garcia, Contributing Writer It is no secret that the state has used the Prison system as a dumping ground for the mentally ill. Common sense would lead an observer to conclude that an environment as degenerative as prison is not the best location to place a person who is suffering from mental illness. Yet the people who run our [...]

A Prisoner’s Case for Rehabilitation in Prisons

By: Matthew Leachman, Contributing Writer Most of us will get out. Some will stay in prison for only a few months; others will stay for a few years, but only a small percentage will die behind prison walls without ever again walking free. Most of us will get out, which is why rehabilitation is a goal that every rational person [...]

I Taught Myself Yoga In Prison – And It Changed My Life

By: Daniel Harris, Contributing Writer Many are intimidated by the expensive trappings of yoga. When you take away all the specialty items, forget the retreats to faraway places, and make do where you are with what  you have, yoga comes alive. Yoga's roots were in a hovel; it has only recently taken to life in palaces. I began my yoga [...]

An Oral History of My Future

By: Whitney Smith, Featured Writer Not long ago I finished reading "The Story of Joe Gould." The Story of Joe Gould as told by Joseph Mitchell, a columnist and staff writer at The New Yorker magazine from the 1930's until the mid-60's. Mr. Joe Gould was quite the enigma. Sometimes monikered "Professor," sometimes "Professor Sea Gull" due to his self-professed [...]

How A Dogs in Prison Program Changed My Life

By: Robert Molloy, Contributing Writer I am often amused by the prison stereotypes I run across in the media. We are all big, buff, tattooed beasts who spend our days pumping iron, slugging the boxing-bag, and intimidating the other stereotypes: weak, effeminate youngsters, barely-bearded. While there are a few who fit those molds, the reality – at least in the [...]

Gizzardology: The Harsh Realities Of Prison Food

By: Whitney Smith, Featured Writer When I was a kid my parents didn't have any trouble getting me to eat my vegetables. Or any of my food, really. Of course, like every other kid, there were a few exceptions. It was a lost cause putting lima beans on my plate. And any type of stroganoff dish required a little coaxing [...]

Prison Gangs: Here’s Why We Fight

By: Justin Hightower, Contributing Writer 2010 was mid-roar. Springtime in Greenhaven [Correctional Facility] was marked by an uptick in gang violence. The night of June 10th could have been a case study. Under a sky so blue not a contrail drifted, iron weights rose and fell above the freshly cutgrass. On the court, facedown in an ever-blossoming pool of blood, [...]

Welcome To Club Fed: Prison Gangs, Politics, & A Lack Of Basic Necessities

By: Whitney Smith, Featured Writer "So how's Club Fed?" someone once asked me during a phone call home. For those who don't know, the Federal Bureau of Prisons has a reputation of providing plush environments for convicted criminals to serve their debts to society, hence the play on Club Med. How could I explain to the person on the other [...]

The Great Philosophers Changed My Life In Prison

By: Larry Bratt, Contributing Writer In Voltaire’s A Philosophical Dictionary, there’s the question, “Can a person change his or her character?” Voltaire’s suggestion that “we can improve, we can smooth down, we can hide what nature has placed in us. But we put nothing there ourselves.” Discussions with fellow inmates about this went back and forth, as a few men [...]

When You Grow Up In Prison, Did Your Life Ever Really Begin?

By: Chris Dankovich, Contributing Writer Sometimes, after my roommate has gone to sleep (or has left the room, or when no one is looking), I grab my pillow and hold it tightly, pressing my face against it. I fall asleep with my arm wrapped around it, or with it pressing against my back, pretending that I'm not alone – or at least [...]

Take A Look Inside Prison’s Underground Economy

By: Michael Winsett, Contributing Writer When it comes to the underground economy in prison, you have to live inside here to understand it. For example, inmates use “postage stamps” as poker chips. At the end of the night, you can keep the postage stamps or cash out the postage stamps for other items. Then there’s those inmates who run “inmate [...]

After 20 Years of Solitary in A Supermax Prison — They Send Me To THIS Place?

By: Mustafa Zulu, Contributing Writer For the past two decades, up until April 27, 2015, I was living in solitary confinement at the only federal Supermax prison in America, ADX Florence in Colorado. I was housed and handled under the high-max custody level. No less than three guards had to escort me anywhere I went (it's called a three-man hold). On [...]

The Alternatives To Violence Project Changed My Life Forever

By: Michael Winsett, Contributing Writer One day I looked into the activity room in the unit where I live and I saw inmates participating in some kind of class.  First thing I thought was that it was just “another” prison program, won’t do me any good to sign up for it. There were three females and one male from outside [...]

I Spent 20 Years In Solitary in America’s Worst Prison — Then One Day, It Was Suddenly Over

By: Mustafa Zulu, Contributing Writer It was 4:00 in the morning, just one month shy of my 39th birthday. I was sound asleep in my prison cell. A guard and a property officer beamed a flashlight in my face and started banging on the bars to wake me up. " Hey, Zulu! Turn on your light and step up to [...]

10 Tips For Surviving Long Term Solitary Confinement

By: Mustafa Zulu, Contributing Writer Editors Note:  Mustafa Zulu spent 20 years in solitary confinement in the harshest Federal Prison in America:  ADX Florence in Colorado.  One day, he was told he was moving to a STATE prison in North Carolina. 1) STRESS MANAGEMENT: Stress kills. Solitary confinement units are pressure cookers, and extreme pressure busts pipes without relief valves. [...]

This Was Not The Boob Job I Was Looking For…

By: Lorie Longoria, Contributing Writer I always wanted a boob job. In all my years as a stripper, drug addict and a prostitute, my first big dream was to have my breasts done and really make some money. I mean that’s what life is about, big boobs, bras, booze, drugs, money and men (or women, if that’s your preference) right? It’s ironic [...]

Institutionalized Racism in Prison

By: Arthur Longworth, Contributing Writer In prison, it's not necessary for you to be a racist in order for you to act like one, to live within the confines of a strict racial divide, to discriminate. These are things you have to do in here, because the race barriers are institutionalized, embedded so deeply into the way the prison is managed, [...]

I Count Four Social Classes in Prison

By: Paul Gardner, Contributing Writer Inmates, just like people in free-society, are divided into social classes. After years of incarceration in Arizona, I’ve noticed four distinct social classes of prisoners: The Indigent-but-Content The Beggars The Hustlers The Supported Two things work in unison to determine which social class a prisoner belongs to: his access to money from the outside and [...]

I Was A Witness To Murder At Age 10

By: Paul Anthony Brown, Contributing Writer Courtesy of Paul Brown In the ghetto, there’s lots of improvisation. As young boys, we were very active and had loads of energy. We liked to play baseball, but lacked the equipment. No problem. For a bat, we used a broken broom handle. An old fuzzy lime green tennis ball served as [...]

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