Hello! Happy Valentine’s Day to all of LGBTQ+ Community of UltraViolet newspaper. Today is Feb. 4th 2021 and I am writing you in my second language – Ingles. I am just learning and writing Ingles because I speak Spanish only. I [am trying] to communicate with you in Ingles. “Greetings to all of You.” So, the reason for my letter is to let you know that soon I will be deported to Mexico and I do not want to leave without saying “Muchos Gracias portado El Apoyo (support) that I had received from you all of these years. I have been reading your newsletter UltraViolet and it brought me a lot of comfort, wisdom and knowledge. I didn’t feel so alone. I knew that there were people like me (bisexual) out there. When I read the stories of UltraViolet, it opened my eyes to see all the effort that you guys [are] doing for us in prison. The literature, newspaper, letters and support gave me courage to continue growing with all of you. This is my last weeks in prison. Thank you very much. I love you all. You are a great value for me, a great support, someone who loves me. I never felt alone because of the stories in UltraViolet, they are a mirror of my own image. Sincerely, Juan Suares Folsom Prison [ed. Note. Juan is no longer in prison in CA. He was on the UV mailing list for 3 ½ years. We are angry and disgusted by his deportation and wish him the very best]
Prison Journalism Project
Our mission is to help incarcerated writers and those in communities affected by incarceration tell stories about their world using the tools of journalism: gathering and testing facts, writing with nuance, texture and insight and reaching a thoughtful audience.
We provide incarcerated writers with the tools and training to establish themselves as credible writers and journalists, so they can meaningfully participate in the decision making processes that impact them and their communities. We are developing a correspondence-based curriculum, a journalism textbook that incorporates comics and a framework for in-prison classes. We also support journalism teachers and professors who teach classes that touch on mass incarceration.
Writers who are incarcerated, formerly incarcerated, family members, corrections officers, prison educators and others involved in the criminal justice system or affected by the experience of prison or jail. We welcome submissions by first-time writers, experienced writers and artists. We publish full name bylines unless you specify otherwise. You may publish under your first name or a pen name, but please provide a reason that can be published as part of your bio. We do not use titles (Mr., Ms., Dr. etc.) in bylines.
Send submissions or questions to Prison Journalism Project, 2093 Philadelphia Pike #1054, Claymont, DE 19703 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org (Word or Google doc attachment. Filenames should include your last name. Ex. TitleOfArticle.Smith.doc) or JPay: email@example.com
Making a Difference
As a Black transman I have a bull’s eye on my back. An automatic three strikes against me. Number 1, I’m incarcerated; number 2, I’m Black; number 3, I’m trangender, Being in prison is already an ordeal to face both mentally and emotionally. How do we deal with the prejudiced environment pertaining to race, gender and religion? Is there a difference between racism and prejudicial behavior?
Let’s speak biblically. One of the greatest commandments is to “love one another”. Speaking of love unites us all. We’re all God’s children, right? We need to act as such. Love conquers all! So why so much division? Within these prison walls, we must learn to love one another. Be at peace with each other. Be emphatic to one another. Be cheerful to one another. If you’re not a part of the solution to disperse the negativity which evolves from our biased environment, then you’re obviously a part of the problem. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it. It’s not their actions but your reactions that matter. True enough, we are in control. In our confined circumstances, how we react in certain situations can dictate the outcome. We can’t change nobody else but we can change ourselves. Solving a problem starts from within. Coming from someone with anger issues and psychotic outbursts, I myself struggle with this too. I’m not racist but I’ve witnessed and experienced the prejudicial manners and biased antics of others.
We need to acknowledge the problems that consist between color lines and solve it by being color blind. United we stand, divided we fall. Ignorance is disliking someone because of their skin color, gender preference or religious beliefs. In order for us to eliminate the hate in the world, today we must first stand with cleansing our won heart. Share the love, spread the joy. Britney Gulley #1601283, Skyview Unit, 379 FM 2972, Rusk TX 75785
Shorts from Inside
Enclosed is a tithe of my IRS/EIP cheque to assist with your work. I am sharing the 10% tithe evenly with four organizations. [I’m honoring] those in California who fought our exclusion by the IRS from filing for and being given stimulus money. I hope it is helpful, though small. Be well. AS, SCI Forest PA [ed. Note. Thank you very much, Andrew]
Dear UltraViolet family. I’m in FCI Waseca and the ACLU is suing the prison and warden Starr. I was on a ventilator and in coma due to Covid. I still struggle with the after effects. There is no social distancing here. No good medical. Staff keep bringing in buses. But rest assured, us inmates are sticking together. I want to thank all of the UltraViolet family for always giving me strength. AM, FCI Waseca MN
Thank you sooooo much for sending me [resource lists]. I can’t wait to receive them so I can do my part as an activist to change the social structure of the united states. There must be LOVE, not war! There must be peace, not hate! I can’t wait to hear from you! Bye! DT, Utah S.P. UT
I hope all of you at LAGAI are doing well and I also hope you remain safe in the midst of this potpourri of madness. Even with the whole world losing its collective mind, you managed to put out issues of your UltraViolet newsletter. No small feat in a year when many were just trying to survive. I always look forward to that opening satire, political and cultural commentary and, of course, the Inside Shorts. Also, you printed an article I wrote about the victory of one Florida girl and the transgender policy she changed. Thank you! Until this is over, my writing is the only way I know to make a difference and that’s only possible if others can read it. Once I’m out, I’d like to do a whole lot more. Rayne Violet, New River Work Camp FL
Hello to all my UV Family across the nation and everyone providing us this magnificent platform at LAGAI. I’m so grateful that we’re able to share experiences and let each other know we are not alone. We are able to unite and feel comfortable with our authentic self. I encourage y’all to write down the names you see and introduce yourselves. Reach out and offer letters of support to build upon this powerful network and create an unbreakable bond and united force. Love y’all. “Boogie”, your new bro. RT, Mule Creek S.P. CA
Started off this year with my first ever UV issue. Definitely gave me life and brought some light into this corona-infected facility. Lockdown finally ended after a long 30 days and I’m now fully recovered from the bug! Even tho my physical freedom had been taken from me 3 years ago, I actually feel free as can be after hiding my true identity for 26 years and beginning hormone therapy. I send my love and best wishes full blast to my LGBTQ fam. Thank you to all who contributed to the Jan. 2021 issue. I’m stoked to officially be a subscriber and I look forward to the future issues to come! Take care. XO. NS, Orange CA
Hello inside and outside world. I am a man who loves, loves our transwomen and Queers. I have been standing in between them and dangers of other inmates and staff since 2006 (when my incarceration began) and even before I was arrested. I’m not in a relationship at this time (unfortunately) but this is my mission to call all of the gay men who love our Queens (queers and transgender women) to stand up and join me in protecting our community. If the haters see more strong men stand in protecting our Queens of our LGBTQ community, there would be less attempts on their lives. If you are interested in joining my mission (man or woman) please write me, Earl Holeman #1055830 30420 Revells Neck Rd. Westover MD 21890
Currently at SCI Albion, over 90 inmates plus about half the correctional officers have gotten sick, along with some administration non-uniforms and service workers. Also a couple of inmates have died. Governor Tom Wolfe refuses to allow those seriously ill to go home. He should allow inmates with a year of less to get out, release the over 20 inmates on Administrative Custody waiting to get out of the BHU because of lack of bed space and the 40 people on AC waiting to get transferred to a program. Cells ain’t clean and showers ain’t clean. In population, they are letting 1 cell at a time, switching top tier and bottom tier every other day, only giving them 25 minutes for showers. Food is being served cold and that’s only the half of it. Juicy Queen Bee SCI Albion PA