Despite the fact that we number in the millions in the U.S. alone, prisoners’ families do not have very many opportunities to come together to share our experiences. Fortunately, some folks in Durham, North Carolina, have formed an organization to support one another. Read more about it here.
Every year for the last five years students at the University of Michigan’s Prison Creative Arts Project (PCAP) have volunteered to undertake the incredibly unwieldy task of soliciting, receiving, reviewing, and responding to creative writing submissions from hundreds of prisoners throughout the state of Michigan. Every single person who submits writing receives personalized feedback on his or her work; PCAP sends no form rejection letters. The result is a remarkable collection of writing called the Michigan Review of Prisoner Creative Writing, published annually in conjunction with the PCAP Annual Exhibition of Art by Michigan Prisoners. This year’s review is a particularly good one, and I highly recommend it to those of you might be looking for prisoner writing to teach in your courses next year and to those of you who just want something great to read.
To order this year’s review or one from a previous year, use this order form. Each copy of the review is only $15, and all proceeds go directly back into making the next year’s review.
A few years ago I had the privilege of directing an undergraduate honors thesis written by Anita Rao, who was then a senior at UNC Chapel Hill. Anita took on an ambitious original research project, interviewing formerly incarcerated women in the Triangle Area of North Carolina about the time they spent as part of an arts workshop in a women’s prison in Raleigh. Anita’s senior thesis was awarded highest honors and now sits in bound form in the UNC library. Her research inspired me to write an article about the same prison arts workshop for a forthcoming special issue of the academic journal American Music.
After graduating from UNC, Anita went to work for National Public Radio’s StoryCorps program, where I know she is doing wonderful things. She recently sent me an email with this link to a StoryCorps clip in which a formerly incarcerated mother and her daughter interview one another about their experiences of the mother’s imprisonment.
Thank you, Anita, for the great work you are doing! We need many more thoughtful young people like you to help bring stories of women and families’ experiences of incarceration to light.
Those of you who know something about the Prison Creative Arts Project (PCAP) might recognize at least one of the very silly people in this picture.
Buzz Alexander–the taller of us–founded PCAP in 1990 at the University of Michigan, and in the years that followed Buzz built this extraordinary program into the largest organization in the U.S. (and perhaps the world) that links university students and incarcerated youth and adults through arts programming. PCAP sends undergraduates into Michigan prisons, juvenile detention centers, and urban high schools to facilitate arts workshops. PCAP also hosts the Annual Exhibition of Art by Michigan Prisoners, which displays over four hundred works of visual art from every prison in the Michigan Department of Corrections. PCAP’s annual literary review publishes writing by Michigan prisoners, and the organizations many workshops host dozens of performances each year. In fact, last week PCAP celebrated the performance of its 600th play.
Now I have the honor of succeeding Buzz in running this incredible organization. As of January 1, 2013, I am a new Associate Professor of Theatre & Drama at the University of Michigan and the Director of PCAP, and I am deeply grateful to Buzz and to Janie Paul (the other long-serving member of the PCAP faculty and Buzz’s wife) for the years of preparations that went into the process of getting me hired at Michigan. Many other people worked very hard to get me to Michigan, including Priscilla Lindsay, chair of the Dept. of Theatre & Drama; Dean Christopher Kendall of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre, & Dance; and Angela Dillard, chair of the Residential College. Half of my faculty appointment at Michigan is in Theatre & Drama (the field in which I was trained), and the other half is in the Residential College (RC) where PCAP will soon be moving.
PCAP has long lived in Michigan’s English Department because that’s where Buzz founded it. Though PCAP will maintain connections to the English Department through Buzz and my husband Phil Christman, who will be teaching as a lecturer in the first year writing program in English, the PCAP’s administrative operations will move into the RC in Fall 2013. The PCAP staff–Sari Adelson, Shannon Deasy, and Vanessa Mayesky–and I will all have offices in the RC, while Buzz and Phil will be the PCAP faculty with offices in English. I also have an office in Theatre, and Janie, of course, has an office in Art & Design, which gives PCAP a strong presence on North Campus as well.
Buzz is considering retirement in the coming years but has not set a date for his retirement. We hope to have a few semesters or years of working together before he stops teaching, though he will never truly leave PCAP or stop participating in its activities. (Thank goodness!) Though I will undoubtedly do many things differently than Buzz has in the past–because I could never hope to fill his shoes completely–I endeavor to honor the incredible work that he has done and continues to do with hundreds of students, volunteers, and incarcerated people. Buzz’s main purpose in bringing me to Michigan, and mine in coming here, is to protect PCAP’s sustainability so that this organization can thrive for twenty more years and beyond.
My husband Phil–a writer and former lecturer at North Carolina Central University–will play a significant role at PCAP as well. Starting with the 2014 issue, he will be the editor of PCAP’s annual Review of Literature by Michigan Prisoners.
We have taken up residence in Ann Arbor, though neither of us will start teaching until Fall 2013. Though we already miss many friends and colleagues at UNC, we are very happy to be at Michigan and plan to be here for years to come. The PCAPers, colleagues at Michigan, and our neighbors have done much to welcome us and make us feel at home here. We are grateful for all the good will and kindness that is being shown to us, and we look forward to meeting all of the current PCAPers and to teaching our first Michigan students in the Fall.
About a year ago, a woman named Sherrin Fitzer contacted me out of the blue, asking if she could get a copy of the script of my play Doin’ Time to share with a group of women in an Illinois prison. Sherrin works at Lincoln Correctional Center for Women and leads a theatre troupe comprised of incarcerated women; they call their ensemble Acting Out. Sherrin and I exchanged many emails and conjured up a plan to collaborate. Janet Wilson, director of the School of Theatre and Dance at Illinois State University in Bloomington, has collaborated with Sherrin and the women of Acting Out for many years, and Janet extended an invitation to me to perform Doin’ Time on her campus. With support from many corners of the university, including the School of Theatre and Dance, Latino Studies, Crossroad’s Project, Honor’s Program, School of Social Work and the Department of Criminal Justice Sciences, Janet and Sherrin arranged a week-long residency for me:
- On Tuesday, September 18, 2012, from 10 AM to noon, I will lead “Writing Social Justice: A Writing Workshop for the Community” in Stevenson Hall, room 133.
- On Tuesday, September 18, 2012, from 5 to 6 PM in Centennial West 207, I will speak about UNC’s Moore Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (MURAP) and diversity issues in higher education.
- On Wednesday, September 19, 2012, at 7:30 PM, I will perform Doin’ Time in Westhoff Theatre. Click here for more information about the performance.
My time at Illinois State will be very exciting, but what will happen at Lincoln Correctional later that week is the most amazing opportunity I’ve had in eight years of touring with this play. The women in the Acting Out troupe have read my script and written their own monologues about visitation and families. Sherrin has been emailing me drafts of their monologues, and in this manner the women and I have been able to respond to one another’s work. They have written some very powerful pieces, which they’ve been rehearsing with Sherrin. Doin’ Time‘s director, the incomparable Joseph Megel, will travel to Illinois with me, and we’ll spend all day on Thursday, September 20th in rehearsals inside the prison with the women of Acting Out. We’ll weave their eleven monologues into my play, and we’ll all perform together on the afternoon of Friday, September 21st for an audience of 150 to 200 incarcerated women. Two more incarcerated women will run the tech cues for the show.
I have performed in a handful of prisons now in the U.S., Ireland, and Canada, and I’ve seen prisoners perform plays of their own in Michigan, North Carolina, and Louisiana. I’ve also conducted and participated in improvisational theatre workshops in quite a few prisons, but this will be the first time that I’ve actually performed in a play with incarcerated theatre makers and the first time that anyone ever wrote or performed new material in response to my play Doin’ Time. I have never performed Doin’ Time with other actors, and though I haven’t yet met any of the women of Acting Out, I am already deeply moved by their words and their willingness to enter into this adventure with me.
If you are going to be near Bloomington this week, please come to the show! I’ll be posting more about my time in Illinois after my trip there.
My favorite bookstore in the whole world is a little place called Resistencia in Austin, Texas. They have a fantastic selection of rare and out of print books as well as a wide variety of titles by Native American, Latina/o, and black authors. They specialize in literature by people of color, poetry, Southwestern writers, and nonfiction on social justice issues, particularly incarceration. (Those of you who know me can see clearly why this is my kind of bookstore!) The books are just the beginning. A very active and progressive community organization called Red Salmon Arts also resides in this bookstore (which is in truth more of a community center than anything else) and hosts a ton of really exciting readings and social justice events. If I lived anywhere near Austin, I would be there all the time.
Resistencia’s founder, raulrsalinas (also sometimes written as Raul R. Salinas) was one of the greatest human beings I have ever known, and his life and legacy are honored every day by the work of the good folks who keep Resistencia and its programming going every day.
I first encountered raul’s poetry when I was in high school–about a year and a half after my father entered prison. raul spent many years in prisons all across the US and wrote some of the most enduring poetry of the Chicano Movement from solitary confinement, including his landmark poem “Un Trip Through the Mind Jail.” His poems were the first pieces of writing that helped me begin to understand what my father experiences every day behind the walls. raul’s strength, fortitude, and passion for life gave me hope that my father and our family might be able to endure this particular form of devastation. After he got out of prison, he went home to Austin and spent the rest of his life doing work that served others–those in prison, struggling youth, and the people of his beloved Austin.
I cannot do raul justice through mere description. Here’s a taste of him performing some of his poetry:
My senior honors thesis when I was an undergraduate at Yale dealt with the subject of poetry written by Latina/o prison–a project inspired by raul’s writings.
By the time I actually met raul in person, I was a graduate student at UC San Diego, living in Sherman Heights–a historic Chicana/o neighborhood in the heart of the city. The next neighborhood over from mine hosted a Barrio Book Fair in 2004, and raul was one of many distinguished speakers. I introduced myself to him and told him how much his work had shaped my understanding of incarceration and its impact on communities. By the end of the day, he had invited me to perform my then very new play about the families of prisoners, Doin’ Time: Through the Visiting Glass, at Resistencia. He was one of the earliest and strongest supporters of the play, and in hosting my performance, he not only provided opportunities for my work to grow but also introduced me to the incredible community of folks who make up Resistencia and Red Salmon Arts.
raul left this earth in 2008, and those of us who loved him continue to raise his name and honor his life by doing the kinds of community work he taught us to do. The folks at Resistencia do an unfathomable amount of service for the people of Austin, for youth, for the queer community, African Americans, immigrants, Chicana/os, Native Americans, prisoners, and a whole bunch of other gente, and now in these tough economic times they need our support. Here are a few things you can do:
- BUY THEIR BOOKS! You don’t have to be in Austin to do that. I order books from them through the mail on a regular basis. You can also order by phone: (512) 416-8885. If you are lucky enough to be in Austin, check them out in person:
1801-A South First St.
Austin, TX 78704
- GET THEIR EMAIL NEWSLETTER! I often learn of new book titles from the newsletter, which is awesome. It also provides listings of all the exciting events happening in connection with Red Salmon and Resistencia. Like I said, if I lived within driving distance of Austin, I’d be there every week. Send an email to email@example.com to sign up for the newsletter.
- DONATE TO SUPPORT THEIR WORK. You can mail a check made out to Resistencia Bookstore to the above address or use their PayPal account.
Pa’ la gente de Resistencia, with gratitude and admiration.
The Prison Creative Arts Project (PCAP) is an amazing program at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, that takes undergrads into prisons, juvenile facilities, and urban high schools throughout Michigan to conduct collaborative arts workshops. One of their other programs, the PCAP Linkage Project supports formerly incarcerated artists, writers, actors, dancers, and musicians who worked with PCAP during their imprisonment. Working with returning citizens is far more difficult than working with folks in prison. Though life in prison is terribly unpleasant, the incarcerated don’t have to worry about where their next meal is coming from, how they’ll find work and make an income, or where they will sleep that night. Returning citizens often find the free world very changed from what they knew before they entered prison, and those of them who became artists while in prison struggle to continue working creatively after their release because other concerns take precedence over the desire to make art.
On April 5, 2012, the PCAP Linkage Project held an amazing conference, organized by staff member Heather Wilson, for formerly incarcerated artists. I had the privilege of getting to attend the day’s events in Detroit, meet the artists, and see some of their work. Many of the artists brought drawings and paintings to the conference, and all the works of art collected that day are now on display at the Ridge Point Community Church at 340 104th Avenue in Holland, MI. (That’s in the western part of the state, not far from Grand Rapids.) Click here for more information about the exhibition which runs from now until May 5, 2012. If you’re out in that neck of the woods, don’t pass up the opportunity to see these wonderful works of art.
Denise Johnston of the Center for Children of Incarcerated Parents and Megan Sullivan of Columbia University are putting together a book of stories written by adults who experienced the incarceration of a parent when they were children. Please contact them directly for more information.
Call for Stories from Children of Incarcerated Parents
Are you an adult who experienced the incarceration of your parent as a child? Are you interested in sharing your story, in your own words, with others?
Do you have an adult child who experienced your incarceration? Would your adult child be interested in sharing his/her story with others?
We are editing a book of life stories by adults who had a parent in jail and/or prison when they were growing up. The book will describe adult perspectives on parental incarceration. This will not be a book ABOUT children of incarcerated parents, it will be a book BY adults who experienced the incarceration of a parent as children.
There is no requirement that contributors have ever lived with their incarcerated parent. There is no requirement that contributors have ever had an active relationship with their parent who has been in jail or prison. We are particularly interested in stories from individuals who have been involved in the juvenile or criminal justice systems themselves.
We will provide editorial assistance to help contributors write the story they want to tell. Contributors can send us their written work electronically or by mail.
Individuals who are interested in sharing their stories and participating in this important project can email or write to us at:
Denise Johnston & Megan Sullivan
c/o Center for Children of Incarcerated Parents
Eagle Rock, California 90041
Please contact us by June 30, 2012. We look forward to hearing from you!
FREE LEGAL INFORMATION CLINIC
Sponsored by North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services, Inc.
North Carolina Bar Association’s Professionalism Committee
N.C. Advocates for Justice – Civil Rights Section
The Durham and Orange Prisoners’ Resource Roundtable
SATURDAY, APRIL 21, 2012
10:00 AM –12:00 PM
DURHAM COUNTY LIBRARY
300 N. Roxboro Street
Durham, North Carolina 27701
For more information, please call (919) 856-2200
Free legal consultations about civil legal matters governed by N.C. law will be offered at this clinic for people who have been formerly incarcerated or, for organizations that serve the formerly incarcerated community. Volunteers will be available to provide general information about legal issues or refer you to an agency or organization that can provide the information you need. The volunteers cannot offer to represent you, but, if you are eligible, you may be referred to one of the legal or social service agencies in the Raleigh/Durham area to seek additional assistance and/or representation.
Please bring all of the documents concerning your legal problem to the Clinic
For additional information and assistance, please visit http://www.lawhelp.org/nc.
On the morning of the first day of the 2012 Prisoner’s Family Conference in Albuquerque I had the good fortune to sit down next to really smart and very kind man named Seth Ford. He’s a social media consultant who spent five years as a political lobbyist. A series of events in his personal life led him to become concerned about the toll that violence and incarceration take on so many communities in the United States. He now lives in Denver and works for an amazing organization called the Pendulum Foundation, which works to end juvenile life without parole in Colorado. He also blogs about this and other juvenile justice issues on his website PolitiVisor.com.
From 1992 to 2005, kids could be given a sentence of life without parole in the state of Colorado. The legislature came to its senses in 2006 and ended this barbaric sentencing practice, but because the change in law was not retroactive, the fifty children who had already been sentenced to life without parole remain in the system. Now all of them are adults who have never lived independently outside a prison. What kind of nation believes that people who are too young to be trusted to vote, drink, or serve in the military should be judged unfit to live among us for the rest of their lives? As I wrote in an earlier post about the sentencing of Laurence Lovette, giving life sentences to young people is a poor investment in the future of our children, our country, and our public safety. The Pendulum Foundation’s battle against juvenile life without parole is vital.
At the Prisoner’s Family Conference Seth Ford led a workshop entitled “Community Organizing.” I’ve always prided myself on knowing a thing or two about community organizing. I’ve marched, demonstrated, leafleted, petitioned, been to sit-ins, and done my share of street theatre. I can sing “We Shall Overcome” with the best of them, but I had no idea how to do the kind of community organizing that Ford was teaching at this conference. He showed an enraptured (and Luddite) audience how to use Twitter to reach an audience as broad as a local news outlet, which is precisely what he’s done for the Pendulum Foundation. His Twitter handle is @PolitiComm, and thanks to him I’m now @razorwirewoman. I have a deep mistrust of the sound byte levelof information that can be conveyed in 140 characters, but I have learned that tweets can lead folks to sources of information that provide more context, like blogs and other websites.
I’m still a deep believer in the power of live interaction, in sitting in and demonstrating for justice, but I’m learning the power of electronic media to connect us to those whom we cannot reach directly. Thanks, Seth. The next time you need a friend to march beside you I’ll repay the favor.
R e s to r a t i v e J u s t i c e
Free Community Education and Networking Event
A documentary film that shows how restorative justice and the traditional court process
can work together to create a meaningful outcome in response to an injustice.
Six high school seniors burnt down an historic covered bridge in a small town.
Burning Bridges documents the Restorative Justice Conference in response to that crime.
Audience members will see many aspects of the entire Restorative Justice process.
Q and A and Networking to follow the film.
3:00pm Saturday, March 10 2012
Durham Main Public Library, Roxboro Street
Go to: Durham Restorative Justice Project Facebook for more information
If Walls Could Talk: A Mural Project with Incarcerated Mothers and Their Children, a post by Ashley Lucas3 Jan
My former student Jamila Reddy just sent me this link to a website about a proposed mural project with incarcerated mothers at Riker’s Island and their children. The incarcerated mothers will create an image which their children will paint in East Harlem, and the children will create an image which their mothers will paint inside the prison. The video on the website shows artist Katie Yamasaki’s incredible previous mural work, which is very socially engaged. She has collaborated with communities of women all over the world, and this project promises to produce amazing results as well. Yamasaki is trying to raise the funds necessary to make these murals a reality. This is the kind of place where I wish my tax dollars were going. Very few activists or artists have such excellent ideas for connecting communities separated by prison walls. Yamasaki’s efforts are inspiring and inspired. Do not miss the chance to support this incredible work!
One of RWW’s contributors Simone Weil Davis brought the Inside-Out program to Canada, and the Canadian press has recently picked up the story. I visited the women’s prison in Canada which hosts that country’s first Inside-Out classes and met both inside and outside students who are participating in the program. All gave the program rave reviews. Congratulations to Simone and the rest of the folks working with Inside-Out in Canada, and thank you for the important work that you do!
Each year, the Action Committee for Women in Prison provides Christmas gift bags for all the women who are incarcerated in the state prison system in southern California and gifts for all the children who visit their mothers during the holiday season. These women and especially their children are often forgotten and neglected by most people and organizations. Please help us to ensure that every one of them is not forgotten this year. Bring a special smile to the faces of every mother and child in the visiting room this holiday season. For more information go to our website.
On Tuesday of this week, Jodie and I read excerpts of Razor Wire Women for an enthusiastic crowd of professors, students, and activists at the Kenan Theatre at UNC Chapel Hill. Thank you to David Navalinsky and the rest of the staff in the Department of Dramatic Art for setting up the theatre for our reading and to the folks from UNC’s Bull’s Head Bookstore for selling copies of our book at the event!
We will do another such event at the Regulator Bookshop on Ninth St. in Durham, NC, tonight at 7 PM. Come join us if you’re in the area!
I received an email announcement this week from Cultural Odyssey–the performing arts umbrella organization which includes the work of the Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women. For those of you who do not know about the Medea Project and have not seen them perform, I highly recommend that you get to San Francisco to see the work they do as soon as you can. Scholar Rena Fraden wrote an excellent book, Imagining Medea, published by UNC Press in 2001, about the theatre work being done by director, playwright, and performer Rhodessa Jones with the women at the San Francisco County Jail. Now Rhodessa herself has a new book forthcoming in 2012 (though I can’t yet find any information about what press will be releasing the book). Here’s an excerpt from the press release Cultural Odyssey sent out over email:
RHODESSA JONES’ upcoming book release
Nudging The Memory:
Creating Performance with The Medea
Project: Theatre for Incarcerated Women – A Theater Handbook
“Nudging the Memory” is Rhodessa Jones’ first book! It is a response to the frequent inquiries from students, teachers, social workers, drama and family therapists, representatives of law enforcement, and of course artists/activists throughout the world regarding the work she has conducted with The Medea Project: Theatre for Incarcerated Women locally, nationally, and internationally. “Nudging the Memory” will be a theater handbook of performance exercises, writing explorations, and performance material that is used in the creation of autobiographical theatre for female offenders, as a means of re-entry and restorative justice, all as a part of a woman’s journey “home”. This document will aid others in giving voice to the voiceless, and empowering the powerless, hopefully ennobling all of us.
For further information about Jones’ new book, click here.
Job Posting for Project Coordinator with the Civilians: Help Produce a Play about Women Prisoners in Columbia7 Aug
*The Bogota Project*
The Civilians seeks a Project Coordinator for its upcoming project, working title the Bogota Project. The Civilians is developing an original musical inspired by the real life annual beauty pageant in El Buen Pastor Women’s Prison, the national women’s prison in Bogota, Colombia. The Civilians will go inside the prison in Bogota for four weeks in September, 2011 to conduct research and interviews with the participating and non-participating inmates, guards, prison staff, judges, and pageant coaches. The research and interviews will be used to shape a new musical with a book by Academy Award-nominated playwright Jose Rivera and songs by the Colombian rock band Aterciopelados.
Based on a process developed by The Civilians over ten years, the Investigative Phase will involve Colombian artists conducting interviews in Bogota. At the end of this first Phase, the creative team will synthesize all of the material, creating a work to be developed in partnership with the Goodman Theatre in Chicago and the Iberoamericano Festival de Teatro en Bogota.
The position of Project Coordinator will have two main purposes: The first is to support the organization and coordination of the Investigation Phase in partnership with Ella Fuksbrauner, the Colombian-based Project
Secondly, the US Project Coordinator is responsible for the organization, documentation, and tracking of all of the interviews and related transcripts. The Coordinator will be a point person in communicating between Jose Rivera and Aterciopelados about what interview transcripts they need as the play’s development takes place and for ensuring that all transcripts, interview releases, and audio is accounted for.
The position will begin in mid-August and will be a part-time four-month position through mid-December. Salary is competitive and will be based on number of hours available. Applicants must be bilingual in Spanish and English, should have experience with both administrative positions as well as research-based and dramaturgy work. Applicants of color are strongly
Please send a cover letter and resume, including three references to Marion Young at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A valuable piece by Victoria Law, who is the outside publisher of Tenacious and the author of Resistance Behind Bars. (More about both of those here or just look at the sidebar.) She narrates an entire secret history of fighting back in women’s prisons, beginning with the August 1974 rebellion at Bedford Hills:
IN 1974, WOMEN IMPRISONED at New York’s maximum-security prison at Bedford Hills staged what is known as the August Rebellion. Prisoner organizer Carol Crooks had filed a lawsuit challenging the prison’s practice of placing women in segregation without a hearing or 24-hour notice of charges. In July, a court had ruled in her favor. In August, guards retaliated by brutally beating Crooks and placing her in segregation without a hearing. The women protested, fighting off guards, taking over several sections of the prison, and holding seven staff members hostage for two and a half hours.
(Note: My linking to this piece is not meant to valorize rioting or hostage-taking. I wouldn’t want to be one of those seven guards. Nor for that matter would I want to be Carol Crooks after the guards finished beating her. Which is kind of the point.)
Note: One of the things we hope to do with this blog is to bring more attention to the accomplishments of Razor Wire Women‘s contributors–especially its imprisoned contributors. Co-editor Ashley Lucas will be contacting all of the writers appearing in the book to ask them for special posts and reflections; in addition, I will be writing a series of off-the-cuff bios about each of them. This is the first.
Of all the pieces appearing in Razor Wire Women, none is funnier, more expressive or more vibrant than the Connie Convicta comics of Ana Lucia Gelabert. Tart, sarcastic, and information-rich, Connie Convicta takes part in the best traditions of political and alternative cartooning. You can see quite a bit more of her work here. Her professional bio runs as follows:
Ana Lucia Gelabert is a U.S. citizen of Cuban national origin. Born in 1938 in Central Cuba, she came to the U.S. for the last time in 1961 and has been in a Texas prison since 1984, serving 2 life sentences, concurrent and “non-aggravated” after an incident with Houston police in which only she was injured. TDCJ estimated her parole release date in 1992—yes, that was 16 years ago. Root cause of her offense was the State of Texas trying, and succeeding, to strip her of parental rights to her own 3 children. To this day, Gelabert vows that if it happened all over again today, still she would fight her children regardless of cost of consequences. She tries to answer all mail sent to her to the address below. Also, the comics posted here she does entirely for free and not charging a cent, she does accept, appreciates and very much needs cash donations. Send money order to Inmate Trust Fund, Ana Lucia Gelabert 384484, P.O. Box 60, Huntsville, TX 77349. Thanks.
Ana Lucia Gelabert
Lane Murray Unit TDCJ
1916 N. Hwy. 36 Bypass
Gatesville, TX 76596
Beyondmedia Education has a fantastic website/zine/online installation/ongoing Warholesque happening up here called Women and Prison: A Site for Resistance. With high-quality journalism plus life-writing and essays by women in prison, this is a resource any prisoners’ rights activist will want to bookmark.
Recent topics covered include “Pregnant, in Prison and Denied Care“; “Giving Birth in Chains: The Shackling of Incarcerated Women During Labor and Delivery“; “Illegal Strip Searches at the Cook County Jail“; and “Children Do Hard Time for Their Parents’ Crime.”
Razor Wire Women co-editor Jodie Lawston used to be on the site’s board of directors back when she lived in the freezing Midwest. That’s not all the overlap this site has with Razor Wire Women, either–I was delighted to see several of Ana Lucia Gelabert’s whip-smart “Connie Convicta” comics, which feature prominently in RRW.