The Gold Star by Christopher

“Would you like a blue star or a gold star?” Ten words spoken to me earlier today by a stranger that I didn’t know but will never forget.

I was standing in the commissary line, a snaking tail of sweating men in what was half functioning air-conditioning. It’s always like this. The air-conditioning I mean. Every year. On the first hot week of the year the air-conditioning is turned on in the commissary building and it NEVER works. And every year there’s surprise and amazement by the very same guys in maintenance that shut it down for the winter and start it back in the Spring.

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Letters to Mom by Justin A.


By Christopher

This is the first fictional work Lettersfromchristopher has ever posted and until it’s arrival into my hands I never really thought about it. About what you ask? About the fact that no one, not a single soul since I created this blog over 3 years ago, chose to take me up on submitting a fictional work. It’s not that those that are

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The Integrity of Grievance Procedures by Christopher


At every prison in the country prisoners have access to a grievance procedure intended to help them resolve issues arising between themselves and staff at their facility. This procedure varies from state to state but is designed based upon the laws of the state with which the institution resides. It’s then codified within a set of administrative rules promulgated by the department of corrections.

Most prisoners don’t know how to use the grievance procedure. If you have a loved one that’s incarcerated it’s important they seek out and learn the policies of the department of corrections and specifically the grievance procedure. When I began my sentence, I was fortunate that my peers

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The Lives of Women Behind Bars (Pt. 10): Inmate 97298 & Other Difficult Things


By Christopher

They say that Incarceration is universal for women and men, but I disagree with that notion. That’s an opinion penned by the uninformed or state administrators pushing canned narratives. Frankly, there are stark differences.

Within this narrative are hidden the emotional struggles we prisoners are faced with. This, in all honesty, is the most difficult aspect of imprisonment. Unable to affect change, left alone to struggle and grasp at hope. Incarceration is about overcoming adversity, learning about yourself, how to cope, and how to accept the things you can’t control. It’s about developing the skill set to grow and move forward. But, before any of this occurs, there’s a lot of gnashing of the teeth and a lot of soul searching.

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Trans Trip by Lynn S.

Forward By Christopher

The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 34 USCS 30302, also known as PREA was passed into law on 4 September 2003 to protect prisoners and vulnerable populations within our nation’s prisons, jails and lockups. The act establishes “a zero-tolerance standard for the incidence of prison rape in prisons in the United States.” and to “increase the accountability of prison officials who fail to detect, prevent, reduce, and punish prison rape.” (34 USCS 30301)


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