Prisoner Express establishes both a Word Theme and a Picture Theme for each month for prisoners to base their writing off of. These themes inspire both creative and personal writing, and PE members are encouraged to submit writing for each theme. If a prisoner writes a theme essay they receive a Theme Essay newsletter, a packet that consists of all the writing done that month on the subjects.
Volunteers read and type all the essays to create the compilation. Prisoners reading each other’s writing goes a long way in helping them understand their own experience. It also breaks down barriers between racial and ethnic groups who traditionally stay isolated in prison.
"The theme essays and journals are our expression of feeling that help rehabilitate our hearts and minds. Not just by us writing, but also in reading what others write. In seeing that others have the same issues and problems that we are personally are dealing with, means that we are not alone." - Brandon R., Inmate
It is clear through their writings that they share similar experiences and their common humanity shines through. Prisoners take great pride in seeing their essays published, and are motivated to continually improve their writing skills.
Theme Prisoner Express establishes both a Word Theme and a Picture Theme for each month for prisoners to base their writing off of. This essay by Daniel Montaño was a response to our “Mask” theme essay packet in May 2017. Behind the Lace, by Daniel Montaño So this is me, a gangster, born…Read More
“I only saw what they let me [think I] see” – Lyrics by Bob Dylan In a high-security men’s prison art class where I am a volunteer art teacher, I show the students a crude drawing consisting of two simple lines; one line depicts a circle and the other is a…Read More
The old website didn’t lend itself too well to regular publishing, so we switched to a blog-based format. However, there’s still some gems we haven’t had time to move over. Want to see some of the older prisoner express content? Check out our previous website – which is now http://prisonerexpressarchive.org/ In…Read More
Access the Complete Prisoner Express Archive:
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At this time we can only share a small fraction of prisoner work on our website and in our newsletters – but we are constantly receiving submissions of artwork, poetry, and essays from thousands participants.
The archive is constantly growing – and as a member you have complete access to our searchable archive.