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.
On July 1st, 2013, California inmates at Pelican Bay State Prison ignited a hunger strike to call attention to the inhumane conditions in the state’s Security Housing Units (SHUs). At the height of the hunger strike, July 8th 2013, two-thirds of the state’s 33 prisons and 4 out-of-state prisons participated:…Read More
Mind Games in Our Family Humans, being creatures of high intellect (there are always exceptions to such generalities), are prone to mind games, whether as assailant or victim. In our Prisoner Express family mind games are unusual, but name calling is such a game played by those lacking the ability…Read More
Daniel Harris The Ultimate Mind Game Sitting in a tiny cell and listening to the man next door talking to angels and laughing with god has convinced me that the bible is the most dangerous book and religion a mind game extraordinaire. A warning label should be required on all…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.