Prison is designed to disconnect people from the rest of society. As we listen to their stories, we begin to heal those connections.

Here you will encounter challenging and sometimes difficult language and ideas: Please take care as you explore. We share it all in the spirit of broadening our collective understanding and envisioning a different future.


You Live and You Learn by Joei Alexander Jordan

Greetings, My name is Joei Alexander Jordan, but many people know me by my stage name, "Joei Average." I was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on May 16, 1993. My mother struggled with drug abuse until I was 11, and my biological father was incarcerated for the majority...

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By Women, Mental Health

One Day at a Time by Madge Matthews

While sentenced to life after being wrongfully convicted, all I can think of is getting out of prison. This thought consumes me. I have spent 10 years writing letters, asking for legal help with my case, to no avail. It’s hard to prove your innocence!  I cried...

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Life in Prison

So Long by Edward T. Walton

I’ve been incarcerated for so long. I spent three years in the juvenile system and was sentenced to two natural life sentences, eight months after my release from juvenile. At 36 years of age, I’ve spent about 21 years of my life incarcerated. However, that’s not...

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Family, Memories

Only In America by Mark Anthony McCloud El

I grew up on the northwest side of Detroit, where, although I lived with my mom, dad, two sisters, and niece, I came from a pretty large family of 12. Six boys and six girls. I believe that my upbringing was typical. My parents preached education first and...

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