Introducing: The Press in Prison
Scalawag's practical, abolitionist guidebook for journalists, now available for download.
There is a need for more journalism by, from, and for incarcerated people. Filling that gap requires newsroom competency and media capacity for working with writers behind bars.
The Press in Prison is a guidebook and training from Scalawag featuring insights from incarcerated writers and the editors who work with them. A supplement to Scalawag's second-annual Abolition Week, this new resource is now available to help journalists integrate reporting from prison into their regular reporting cycles.
On Thursday, December 2, 2021, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET, join Scalawag and other journalists around the country for a collaborative workshop and training about prison journalism.
RSVP for the workshop below for access to the guidebook before it's widely released.
Hear directly from incarcerated writers on what support they need most, learn how to create systems to sustain their work from the outside, and join breakout rooms with other journalists to talk about to put these lessons into practice.
Attendance is open to everyone who works in journalism. We ask those who can to pay a suggested $10 donation to attend. Donations help Scalawag pay our panelists and keep our content accessible for all.
How to prepare for the workshop:
- Invite your colleagues: Systemic change doesn't happen alone. Invite a colleague you trust to attend the workshop with you. You'll have a built in accountability system as well as the comfort of participating with someone who is intimately aware of the specific challenges you're up against.
- Review your work: Look back at the work you and your newsroom have published. What are you proud of? What systems would need to exist for you to publish more work like that? What needs improvement? What role can you play in making those changes? Coming equipped with feedback will help you get the most out of these sessions.
- Share your questions: What feels most immediately actionable to you? What conversations do you need help starting with your colleagues? Let us know.
Read the editorial:
The national media is shifting its attention away from demands to restructure, defund, and abolish the police, but policing and prisons don't just affect those of us behind bars.
About Abolition Week
Scalawag founded Abolition Week in 2020 to spotlight incarcerated writers, reflect on our values as an abolitionist organization, and encourage fellow media to join us.
This year's collection of stories—all by incarcerated writers—walks readers through their understanding of the abolitionist framework in four stages, ranging from abolitionist in theory to abolitionist in practice.
more by incarcerated writers:
Decades before a white 19 year-old was charged with the death of a police officer, his father was also imprisoned for killing a cop. Incarcerated writer Leroy Mann interviews Darrell Maness about the intergenerational trauma of incarceration.
Incarcerated writer Leroy Mann describes the prison rituals leading up to an execution, and the psychological impact that witnessing 35 people executed at the hands of the state has on fellow prisoners.
Women on the inside of a South Florida Prison and writers with Exchange for Change write reflections on their experiences navigating the violent chaos of COVID-19 and the complicity and callousness of guards and Florida leadership.
Incarcerated writer Eduardo Martinez brings revelation and poetry for Abolition Week. A rant is not always about rage—but sadness, frustration, remorse, nostalgia, and even epiphany. Listen closely.
When I remember what a privilege it is to have a place, any place, in the web of existence on this planet, I return with humble gratitude to the awe-inspiring, primal fact of the moment: I am alive, I am part of this place, part of the totality.
In response to student letters, Dante shares insight into the painful transformations he's been forced to endure in response to COVID in South Florida Prisons.
My physical presence reminded her there are real people on death row—living, thinking, feeling people who will be put to death because the law says, "Die."
Suffering is an integral aspect of criminal justice for the offender, who should do so with the "difficulty of that reckoning and even the fear and pain it may cause," they deserve an opportunity to repair the damage for which they are responsible.
Let's add prisoners to the long roster of groups for which we demand #mediajustice.
Read the words of Anne C. Willett in honor of the 46th anniversary of the direct action at NCCCW, and the account of A.L. Harris in honor of survivors of state violence and in memory of the lives of those harmed and killed by police.
Two innocent brothers spent 30 years in prison. The law protects the police who put them there.
A Mississippi teenager who's come of age in prison reflects on what he's missed, how he's changed—and how the system should.