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First-person essays from those who work or live in the criminal justice system. Please send pitches for Life Inside to or mail them to us. We're looking for 1,000 to 1,400-word nonfiction stories about a vivid, surprising, personal experience you had with the system — whether you're a lawyer, prisoner, judge, victim, police officer, or otherwise work or live inside the system. Poetry, fiction, essays about experiences that are not directly related to criminal justice, and op-eds will not be accepted. Our honor roll recognizing Kickstarter donors who generously supported Life Inside can be viewed here.
Life Inside December 6
“We don’t live on death row; we wait to die.”
Life Inside November 29
I had never been locked up before. No one told me that prison would be so cold.
Life Inside November 15
After being locked up for years, a prisoner’s ability to see freedom fades.
Life Inside November 8
Charlotte was there for the worst moments of my life. And she was there as I picked up the pieces.
Life Inside November 1
Even though my son was conceived in the most traumatic possible way, his birth was my saving grace.
Life Inside October 25
At a Kentucky prison, inmates and staff switch places during a “re-entry to society” role-playing game.
Life Inside October 18
“I didn’t have a way to communicate. And they basically just flipped me the bird.”
Life Inside October 11
A prison volunteer's belief in second chances faces a difficult test.
Life Inside October 4
“I want to do the work that the guys do.”
Life Inside September 27
“After three decades, I now feel like I’m dying a slow death.”