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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 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.”
Life Inside September 20
“Amazing, isn’t it, that a movement can ripple so widely?”
Life Inside September 13
“As a young, educated white girl, I confused everyone I encountered in law enforcement.”
Life Inside September 6
They call us the Rainbow Warriors.
Life Inside August 30
Or, what happens when guards and prison staff interact as just human beings.
Life Inside August 23
"It was the kind of moment that you witness but your brain just rejects; you can’t believe what you just saw."
Life Inside August 16
"This isn’t a place that provides treatment, help, or even empathy to those who suffer from stress, depression, and mental illness."
Life Inside August 9
I looked into her eyes and told her, “Promise me you won’t hurt yourself again.”