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Our weekly "Life inside" newsletter delivers first-person essays from those who work or live in the criminal justice system. You can subscribe here to receive it in your inbox.
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 August 15
Highlights of prisoner travel include gang fights, overflowing toilets and two weeks shackled to a neo-Nazi.
Life Inside August 8
“Down in a wastewater-treatment pit, I kept furiously shoving the black liquid toward the pump, with a squeegee.”
Life Inside August 1
A man convicted of murder reflects on his life, his crime and his punishment.
Life Inside July 25
“Anyone not touched by the system was unlikely to understand: Going to jail actually marks a story’s beginning.”
Life Inside July 18
“What neither of us knew was that coming to prison would create new worlds for me to build.”
Life Inside July 11
“Despite everything I have accomplished, this is still happening to me.”
Life Inside June 27
“Panic ensued as everyone braced for the inevitable attack.”
Life Inside June 20
I achieved "hooch master” status—until one batch exploded.
Life Inside June 13
“Even when a parent has been part of a child’s pain, that parent’s love can still be the antidote.”
Life Inside June 12
“Prison was where I grew to love one of the finest human beings I have ever known.”