The Press in Prison

Scalawag's practical, abolitionist guidebook for journalists is 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. A supplement to Scalawag's second-annual Abolition Week, The Press in Prison is a guidebook and training features insights for journalists from incarcerated writers and the editors who work with them.

This resource is free and available to anyone working or interested in media. To access and download the full PDF of Scalawag's The Press in Prison guidebook, fill out this short form.

Videos and resources

Scalawag's virtual workshop for journalists walks through considerations in the guidebook about how to create systems to sustain and integrate reporting from prison into your newsroom's workflows. View the recordings below to hear directly from incarcerated writers on what support they need most.

Click here to expand the accompanying slides, or download the full presentation here.
Why this work matters: An introduction from Scalawag.
Speakers: Cierra Hinton, Alysia Harris, Lovey Cooper.
Pt. 1: How to prepare your staff to work with
folks on the inside. Speakers: Christopher Blackwell, Lyle May, Danielle Purifoy.
Pt. 2: Do's and don'ts to take back to your newsroom. Speakers: Emile DeWeaver, Emily Nonko, & Rahsaan Thomas.
Your role in mitigating retaliation. Speakers: Lyle May & Danielle Purifoy.
How to source and pay writers. Speakers: Lovey Cooper & Emily Nonko.

Read the editorial:

Welcome to Abolition Week

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.