Prisoner Express Theme Essays

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.

Frederick Mason “Coffee”

If you would like to respond to Frederick Mason, you may contact him at this address: Frederick Mason 55487-056 USP Tuscon PO Box 24550 Tuscon AZ 85734

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C.F. Villa, Excerpt from “California Elegy”

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:…

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Daniel Harris – Mind Games in Our Family

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…

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Daniel Harris – the Ultimate Mindgame

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…

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Journal Program
Theme Essays
Prisoner Art
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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.