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Morgan Godvin

Morgan Godvin

Morgan Godvin is JSTOR Daily’s engagement editor (and occasional feature writer) for the American Prison Newspapers collection. She is formerly incarcerated and an Air Force veteran, but only in the most technical sense.

The Angolite Comes to the Reveal Digital American Prison Newspapers Collection

The award-winning prison newspaper has long covered topics like prison policy, the death penalty, the societal cost of mass incarceration, that are still relevant today.
From the cover of The Angolite, Volume 25 & 26

Reconciling with Violence through Poetry

A poem in The Angolite reconciles with the lethal violence of prison through creative expression.

The Other Crime Victims

Can perpetrators of crime also be victims of crime?
An illustration of a ball and chain from Cummins Journal

Second Chance Month Brings New Awareness to Old Issues

Second Chance Month is new, but concerns about job prospects, losing the right to vote, and high recidivism rates for the formerly incarcerated are not.
From the cover of Issues in the Indiana Women’s Prison

Injustice at the Indiana Women’s Prison

Medical neglect, food injustice, and mental health woes serve as the creative inspiration for poetry. Plus, how many days of work does it take to buy a bra?
A spread of contraband from Dixon Digest, Volume 18, Issue 2

My Name is Meth

Drugs, drug-themed poetry, and more drugs in the American Prison Newspapers collection.
The cover of Sunfighter, Volume 3, Issue 2

A Poem on Freedom by Ho Chi Minh

Published in Sunfighter in the summer of 1975, "Nothing is More Precious than Freedom..." holds obvious allure for those who are incarcerated.
Shakespeare volumes on a shelf

In Memoriam of the Convict Scholar

An 1899 issue of The Monthly Record reports the death of an acclaimed Shakespearian "convict scholar," who served over 20 years on a life sentence.

Featured Poem from the APN Collection: Lonely Nights

A jarring dose of humanity comes with the 1979 poem by Reva Walker at the Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women.
Photograph: A mother arrives with her children in Poland from war-torn Ukraine at the Medyka border crossing on March 15, 2022 in Medyka, Poland.

Source: Sean Gallup/Getty

Mothers and War

Seeing images of mothers in wartime Ukraine sent editor Morgan Godvin down a research rabbit hole.

St. Patrick’s Day in Prison

Offhand references to St. Patrick’s Day showcase broader humor, humanity, and history in the American Prison Newspapers collection.
Police officers gather as the body of NYPD officer Wilbert Mora is transferred in an ambulance from NYU Langone Hospital to a Medical Examiner's office at the same location on January 25, 2022 in New York City.

Crime Waves and Moral Panics

From train robberies to organized retail theft to murder, are we really gripped by a crime wave?
Black students are provided with a military escort when entering and leaving Little Rock Central High School, Arkansas, following the school's desegregation, 1957

Black Woman Correctional Officer Graduates at Age 62

Segregated schools, cotton, SNCC, and more. A 2004 essay in Long Line Writer, Arkansas DOC Cummins Unit, reveals the perils of life in the Delta.

50 Years Later: The Evolution of Prison Policy

Buried within Adelante is evidence of a fleeting attempt at prison reform and oversight in Connecticut. Is history repeating itself?
An illustration of a turkey whose neck is tied

What Does Thanksgiving Look Like in Prison?

Our American Prison Newspapers collection provides a peek at Thanksgiving celebrations in prisons throughout the decades.
A soldier in shadow, holding a gun

How Veterans Created PTSD

Now a cultural staple, PTSD is a newer diagnosis. How have conceptions of trauma morphed and what does it mean for US institutions and society?