Prison Stories Website

COWBOY

I am a 53 year old man who has been a prisoner at Angola State Prison since I was 18 years old. I am serving a life term without parole for a murder of my 17 year old neighbor. I am guilty; I will never see the outside again. The outside world I knew is long-gone and the only world I have known as an adult is the prison community. In the almost 35 years I have spent here, I have seen many things. This is a true story about one small part of prison life. Prison is not like an HBO TV series. Prison is tough, violent, and a world unto itself. You do NOT want to end up here.

 

Upstate Purgatory

Albany County Jail in upstate New York houses over a thousand men and women. Inmates can be held here for over a year before their fate is sealed.  Four characters reflect on how they got there and what awaits them upon release.

by Lee Phillips

ALYSSA

Alyssa was 22 when she was arrested for robbery and sentenced to 5 years in State prison. She spent the first few years clearing her mind from the opioids that helped get her there and the rest of her time educating herself.

by Jennifer Harnish

KOGER-HARRIS

According to the Urban Institute, the experience of a parent going to prison will have a “significant impact on the emotional, psychological, developmental, and financial well-being of the child.” The Koger-Harris Family, has ample experience with this negative impact. William Koger, the father, lives with his mother, Sandra Koger, and three boys. But it is the absence of the mother, Sherrie Harris, who has been imprisoned since 2006, which looms over the household.

produced by Gabriela Bulisova & Mark Isaac

JESSE

Jesse Krimes is an artist who spent 70 months in prison for non-violent drug charges. While incarcerated, he produced several bodies of work exploring systems, hierarchies and the human condition.

by Philadelphia Mural Arts and Ming Media

SEAN

Sean treated the marijuana business as a high-end private business. He lived a life of luxury until he was caught and spent three years in Federal prison. After being released he integrated back into life with his three daughters and learned to live a crime free life.

by Jennifer Harnish

TIME ZONE (excerpt)

Lashonia Etheridge-Bey spent 18 years in prison for a double murder. “I was one of the worst people you would probably ever meet,” she says of her life just prior to her violent and irreversible crime. Lashonia worked very hard to transform her life in prison.

produced by Gabriela Bulisova

FELIX

Felix is serving life without the possibility of parole at SCI-Graterford, PA. A valedictorian student and a practitioner of restorative justice, he is a prime example of someone who has taken responsibility for his actions, put his life on the right path, and who deserves a second chance.

 

produced by Gabriela Bulisova, Mark Isaac and Michelle Repiso

DAWAN

During his imprisonment at State Correctional Institute – Graterford in Pennsylvania, Dawan Williams participated together with his son Dajuan in the Fathers and Children Together (FACT) program, which brings children to visit their parents 8 weeks in a row. This helped them maintain a relationship in the face of a lengthy separation.

produced by Mark Isaac, Gabriela Bulisova and Michelle Repiso

JESSE

Jesse is an artist who served almost six years in prison for a drug-related charge. Being incarcerated did not deter Jesse from making art and teaching art skills to other inmates, and his art career has taken off following his release, even as he continues to advocate for an end to mass incarceration.

 

produced by Gabriela Bulisova, Mark Isaac and Michelle Repiso

Prison Stories is a website dedicated to telling the stories of people who have spent time in the criminal justice system and the challenges they face upon reentry. It exists to humanize those who carry the title of criminal and felon and raise awareness about the prison industry in the U.S. Learn more and find out how you can contribute.

Prison Stories