By Christopher Zoukis For five years, inmates haven’t even had the opportunity to obtain high school equivalency diplomas at the Lackawanna County Prison in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The GED program was scrapped during a county budgeting crisis in 2012 and has yet to be reinstated. Still, positive changes are on the horizon at the facility, with
The Prison Writing Program, founded in 1971, works across the country to help bring pen, paper and instruction to hundreds of inmates willing to put their thoughts down on paper. The Prison Writing Program believes in the rehabilitative power of the written word and the program wishes to provide a place where inmates can express them selves freely and to be able to share these thoughts with others.
The Prison Writing Program provides skilled writing teachers and sponsors an annual writing contest, publishes a free handbook for prisoners, provides on-on-one mentoring to prisoners and seeks to ge the works either published or to be read aloud at literary readings.
By Sean Shively
The suspense in the courtroom is thick enough to cut with a knife. I am waiting for the jury to come back into the courtroom with their decision on my case. A door opens and the twelve jurors start filing towards their seats. My stomach starts to cramp and I feel nauseous. The jury takes their seats and a deathly silence permeates the courtroom. The absence of sound is so deafening that when the judge’s gavel hits his desk, the reverberation causes my heart to palpitate.