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.

The Nation of Islam’s Role in US Prisons

The Nation of Islam is controversial. Its practical purposes for incarcerated people transcend both politics and religion.

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.

Independent Voices of the Black American Press

The digitized newspapers in this open access collection offer insight into the country’s diverse civil rights movements following the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
A typewriter on a black background

Writing Poetry in Prison as an Act of Resistance

A writer recounts her uncle's experiences writing poetry in prison and advocating for Indigenous rights. His death and his typewriter are intertwined.
Sing Sing prison, with warden T. M. Osborne and two other men, c. 1915

Were Early American Prisons Similar to Today’s?

A correctional officer’s history of 19th century prisons and modern-day parallels. From Sing Sing to suicide watch, torture treads a fine line.