The Prison Journalism Project (PJP), a non-profit group based in April 2020, trains incarcerated writers to be journalists and publishes their tales with the purpose of empowering them to be an important voice in legal justice reform. Over the previous three years, the challenge has printed over 1,700 items of labor from greater than 600 incarcerated and incarceration-impacted writers representing 180 prisons throughout 35 states and three nations.
The challenge is bringing necessary points to mild, equivalent to diminishing access to programs that further rehabilitation due to COVID-19 and the failure of drug treatment in prisons, first-hand accounts from incarcerated people that expose the inadequacy of state and federal prisons to satisfy the wants of these of their care. These tales and extra are featured on the group’s web site, which is powered by WordPress and Newspack, a challenge from Automattic that gives a publishing platform for small and medium-sized information organizations. Newspack contains professionally designed themes and a set of pre-configured plugins, like Newspack Newsletters and WooCommerce Subscriptions, that assist drive viewers and income.
This week the PJP launched the Jail Newspaper Venture, which goals to attach jail publications with a broader normal viewers, together with educators and researchers. At its peak, U.S. prisons working their very own newsrooms printed 250 jail papers in 1959. The jail press has declined considerably since then, regardless of large enhancements within the out there expertise for telling their tales. As of February 2023, the PJP counts 24 operational, prisoner-run information publications throughout 12 states.
The brand new Jail Newspaper Venture has listed these publications right into a prison newspaper directory. It additionally has a brand new class part on the location known as “From Prison Newspapers,” the place the group highlights and amplifies the work of incarcerated writers throughout varied publications. Their work is republished to PJP’s wider viewers, providing a window into the incarcerated inhabitants and the circumstances the place they’re dwelling.
Whereas many of the jail newspapers within the PJP’s listing run on legacy programs or are solely out there through print-versions with digital archives, just a few have on-line publications. San Quentin News is one which runs on WordPress, publishing stunning tales of the humanity and artistry of these behind bars. One story options San Quentin artist Idalio Villagran, who “takes prison-constrained creativity and resourcefulness to a different degree, crafting stunning roses of assorted colours from state-issued bread and Kool-Assist.”
One other submit options the work of San Quentin artist Edgar Zarate Martinez, who’s holding his Mexican cultural heritage alive by means of his work that replicate his craving for his household.
PJP was based by Yukari Iwatani Kane and Shaheen Pasha at Penn State College in 2019, after instructing journalism at San Quentin State Jail and Hampshire County Jail in Massachusetts.
A lot of the different listed jail publications don’t have a web based presence, so the Jail Newspaper Venture is significant for connecting them and bringing extra publicity to jail journalism. Getting these publications on-line isn’t half of the present scope of the challenge, however there’s a huge alternative right here to modernize these newsrooms with WordPress and assist them discover a international viewers.
The Jail Newspaper Venture is dedicated to frequently updating the record of lively publications within the listing. Folks can submit newspapers or magazines not but listed by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
“As this part grows, we hope to give you extra sources on the historical past of this exceptional a part of the fourth property,” Jail Newspaper Venture Editor Kate McQueen mentioned.