‘The Only Answer They Have is Jail’: A 13-Year-Old’s Story

In an essay published by the San Francisco-based writing workshop The Beat Within, an incarceree writes about the first time he was sent to juvenile hall, at the age of 13, and why he wishes there was an alternative to police intervention for young people who need “love and guidance.”


America’s Public Defense Scandal

Although former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted in the death of George Floyd, he had access to superb legal counsel thanks to financial support from his police union. That privilege isn’t shared by most poor defendants, for whom Supreme Court guarantees of indigent defense are a mockery, writes a Texas inmate from his own experience.


‘Without Your Prison Number, You Don’t Exist’

The movement to end the death penalty should not deflect attention from the dehumanizing treatment of incarcerated individuals who experience “death by a thousand cuts” whether they are on Death Row or not, writes a former inmate.


How Not to Manage a COVID-19 Outbreak in Prison

After months of warning that authorities at his Washington State prison were unprepared for the pandemic, lifer Tomas Keen contracted the disease―and discovered that he had underestimated the potential for disaster.


COVID-19, a Texas Prison, and a Truly ‘Fabuloso’ Fable

When worries about the spread of COVID-19 in prison began to surface, Texas corrections authorities ordered common areas to be sprayed with chlorine bleach. But when prison wardens couldn’t find any, they came up with a surprising alternative, recalls a Texas inmate.


Will Judges Veto COVID-19 Relief Measure for WA Inmates?

This spring, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee suspended time limits on post-conviction appeals filed by prisoners, citing the special circumstances of the pandemic. Now it’s up to the state supreme court to decide whether that included cases concluded before the outbreak—and the outlook is uncertain, writes a Washington state inmate.