Prison records from 1800s Georgia show mass incarceration’s racially charged beginnings

A Georgia penitentiary in 1911. Library of Congress   Henry Minter was working as a farm laborer in Georgia in the 1870s when he met Mary Dotson, a young black servant girl. The couple never married – which would have been illegal at the time – but they stayed together until Henry’s death. Mary, who was left with […]

Taking Freedom: Modern-Day Slavery in Amerika’s Prison Workforce

  by BETH SCHWARTZAPFEL Proponents of prisoners’ and workers’ rights point to a push by the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, to “improve and expand federal prison industries” in several states. Known for its “model laws” crafted in partnership between extreme right-wing legislators and powerful corporations, ALEC drafted the 1995 Texas Prison Industries Act, which […]

2018: The Year of the Executioner?

by Kevin Cooper San Quentin State Prison in California. (Flickr / CC 2.0) Editor’s note: Kevin Cooper was convicted of a 1983 quadruple murder and sentenced to death in a trial in which evidence that might have exonerated him was withheld from the defense. His case was scrutinized in a June 19 New York Times column by Nicholas […]

Notes on Advancing the Struggle: Outside – Drugs

by a Colorado prisoner        permalink   Whether in prison or out in society, drugs constitute a major problem. In particular, for our Latino and Black communities, drugs represent a deceiving allure for youth in our communities. Power, status, authority, advancement, the all-mighty dollar – the “American Dream.” In reality, drugs are just another […]

Notes on Advancing the Struggle: Inside – Drugs

by a Colorado prisoner            permalink   Drugs are a powerful temptation. Not just for those who become addicted to using them, but also for those selling them. Many overdose or die due to drugs. Besides death and ruining your health and life, often drugs lead to prison. Once in the dungeons, […]

Support Robert Seth Hayes – Hallmark Doesn’t Make the Birthday Card that I Need

Author: Crystal M. Hayes, MSW – 4/20/2017 I turn 47 years-old in a short couple of weeks and Hallmark doesn’t make the birthday card that I need. I will likely celebrate my birthday the same way I have for most of my life, particularly in recent years. I will wake up — God willing. I […]

The illusion of correctional ‘medicine’

By Political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal Taken from a March 31 audio recording on prisonradio.org In the netherworld of American prisons one must jettison any medical assumption one brings in from the so-called free world. We’ve been conditioned to see nurses as sweet sources of solace and doctors as people dedicated to healing the sick and […]

A young prisoner diez, hiz comradez pour out their love

Tragedy on top of tragedy for a young Black man: First he’s snatched out of his community and away from his family, where he’s badly needed, and swept into prison. For the beloved Weusi Joka Kambon, clearly an up-and-coming leader, prison snatched him away permanently. Justice must be done! – Art: Roger “Rab” Moore, G-02296, […]

On death row, art iz a way to win heartz and mindz

by Sharon Verghis Tyrone Chalmers started drawing at age 8. “Art shadows me everywhere I go in life … my best work comes from within my dreams.” Chalmers is a passionate and committed artist. He is also a convicted murderer on death row. In handwritten letters to Guardian Australia sent from Unit 2 at Riverbend […]