How to Organize a Memorial or Celebration

by Lisa Strawn

From PHN Issue 30, Fall 2016

I’m writing to give people in prison advice on how to put together a memorial or celebration. In June, I put together a Celebration of Life for the Orlando shooting victims at the facility where I’m housed. Continue reading “How to Organize a Memorial or Celebration”

Some of the World’s Greatest Minds Are in Prison

by Bobby Bostic

From PHN Issue 29, Summer 2016

Prison is a place where you can find scholars of every kind. The system can lock up a person’s body, but they can’t incarcerate our minds. Right here, we have some of the world’s greatest minds. We have scientists, mathematicians, and preachers. In fact, many of you have excelled in the most difficult of all politics—prison politics. These politics can get really messy. But people in here network to make things happen on scales great and small. We must continue to apply ourselves and not settle for a label that society has placed on us. Continue reading “Some of the World’s Greatest Minds Are in Prison”

Making Sure HIV Isn’t Treated Like a Crime

by Suzy Subways

From PHN Issue 29, Summer 2016

Did you know some laws make punishments much harsher if you are living with HIV? In Pennsylvania, if someone in prison is convicted of spitting on a guard, 10 years can be added to their sentence if they have HIV. Many states have similar laws. Do you think that’s fair? Continue reading “Making Sure HIV Isn’t Treated Like a Crime”

Immigrants in Texas Want Health, Freedom

by Suzy Subways

From PHN Issue 24, Spring 2015

   Immigrants held in two federal Texas facilities run by profit-driven private companies are refusing to tolerate neglect of their health and unsafe conditions. Continue reading “Immigrants in Texas Want Health, Freedom”

Truly Understanding the Connection between HIV and Incarceration

By Laura McTighe

From PHN Issue 24, Spring 2015

   We know that HIV and incarceration overlap. One in seven people with HIV will pass through our prisons and jails this year. But knowing that HIV and incarceration overlap doesn’t tell us why. Understanding why is critical if we are to end AIDS. Continue reading “Truly Understanding the Connection between HIV and Incarceration”

PTSD: The Enemy Within

By S. Muhammad Hyland
From PHN Issue 23, Winter 2015

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), an anxiety disorder that can arise after an actual or threatened death or serious injury to self or others, too often goes undiagnosed. Formerly known as shell shock syndrome, PTSD was once considered to plague only soldiers. Today, statistics tell a different story.

Neighborhood Violence

Denizens of inner cities across America also suffer from this dangerous disorder but routinely go unnoticed. If PTSD can be successfully used to defend violent criminal behavior perpetrated by current or former troops, it should work that same way for inner-city minorities. Both groups of people are subject to the same feelings created by their respective environments. Continue reading “PTSD: The Enemy Within”

There’s No Shame in Love

by Jose de Marco

From PHN Issue 19, Winter 2014

I’m Jose de Marco. My father was Latino, my mother was African-American. I’m a man that loves other men.

   I believe if people were more accepting of who they are, they would not care when other people criticize them about who they love. But you have to get to the point where outside influences—whether it’s church, your teacher, your mother, or your brother—your happiness cannot depend on the permission of other people. Continue reading “There’s No Shame in Love”

Open Letter to Activists on the Outside

by Sergio Hyland

From PHN Issue 18, Fall 2013

I’m not one of those people who accept the notion that the existence of prisons is inevitable, because if I accept that, I’ll have to accept other associated notions as fact. Like the notion that the thousands of inhumane solitary confinement torture chambers across the nation have to exist. Because I’m on the inside and see the reality of these places, I definitely can’t accept the notion that prisons keep our communities safe! Continue reading “Open Letter to Activists on the Outside”

Fasting for Rights and Dignity: From Guantanamo Bay to California

by Suzy Subways

From PHN Issue 18, Fall 2013

From Gandhi’s independence movement in India to women demanding the right to vote, from Cesar Chavez to Irish Republican Army political prisoners, oppressed people have used hunger strikes to show their deep commitment to freedom. This year, two major hunger strikes shook U.S. prisons. Continue reading “Fasting for Rights and Dignity: From Guantanamo Bay to California”

Decarceration: A New Strategy Against Prisons

by Dan Berger

From PHN Issue 16, Spring 2013

We are at the beginning of a new movement against the prison. It works to shrink the prison system by using radical critique, direct action, and practical goals for reducing the reach of imprisonment. I would like to call this a strategy of decarceration. It is the demand to close prisons and reduce policing—but also to open schools and build communities. It is a strategy that takes advantage of political conditions without sacrificing its political vision. Continue reading “Decarceration: A New Strategy Against Prisons”