In June, I visited Turbeville Correctional Institution, a medium-security prison in rural South Carolina. I was part of a group of journalists and criminal justice advocates that the Justice Department had invited to tour the prison’s Community Opportunity Restoration Enhancement (CORE) housing unit. In this special unit, incarcerated mentors work with younger prisoners to curb violence, promote a culture of dignity and encourage success after prison.
I was immediately struck by what felt like a genuinely positive environment. Mentors who were 25 or older explained how they support their mentees, who are 18 to 25 years old, through life-skills classes and open communication. The space itself is unique, with affirming words that residents had painted outside their cells. I was particularly inspired by two young men planning to open their own barber shops upon release. Seeing programs like CORE firsthand reiterates why connecting those inside with educational resources and news matters.
I have to admit that visits like these once triggered me. Now, five years after my own release from prison, they reinforce why I created News Inside — to speak directly to incarcerated people and shine a light on their experiences. Issue 14 reflects this purpose.
For instance, “Don’t ‘Punish Them More.’ Effort Grows to Ease Job Barriers After Prison Release” highlights challenges that formerly incarcerated people have with obtaining licenses in fields like barbering. “Rebuilding Family After Foster Care” is a photo essay about three brothers whose lives took different paths after they aged out of foster care. And “Coulda Been a Contender” tells the story of a New Jersey man who learned how to box in a youth jail, fought professionally when he got out, and didn’t let an adult prison sentence extinguish his passion.
Along with all the news articles, which are linked below, Issue 14 delivers News Inside exclusives like the “Outside” comic, the “Reader to Reader” advice column, the crossword puzzle, “In The Spotlight” and our news quiz, “Thinking Inside the Box.” (You can get the entire issue by clicking the PDF.)
News Inside is now distributed to over roughly 1,000 correctional facilities around the country via tablets and printed copies. We’ve even reached U.S. citizens detained in Tijuana, Mexico. As always, thank you for checking us out. We couldn’t continue to share our journalism in this unique package without your readership and support.
- Don’t ‘Punish Them More.’ Effort Grows to Ease Job Barriers After Prison Release
- Coulda Been a Contender
- Rebuilding Family After Foster Care
- Why Inflation Price Hikes Are Even Worse Behind Bars
- Most New Yorkers Don’t Get the Trump Treatment at Arraignment
- ‘Prison Within a Prison’: New Mandate Offers Lifeline for Deaf People in Custody
- The 1990s Law That Keeps People in Prison on Technicalities
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