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.
Scales of justice

Good, Evil, and Attorneys

A quick look at poetry from a 1972 newspaper published in the Arkansas Cummins Unit prison.
From the cover of Adelante, April 1, 1971

Circumnavigating Censorship through Poetry and Pictures

Prison censorship comes in many forms; its subversion comes in even more.
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.
Front page of The Kentucky Inter-Prison Press

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.
Cover of Muhammed Speaks, 1975

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.
Ashley Rubin

The Invention of Incarceration

Prisons have been controversial since their beginnings in the late 1700s — why do they keep failing to live up to expectations?
Close up of illustration of prisoners from La Roca

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.