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Correspondence with Prisoners

Posted by Nancy Mullane on July 24th, 2012

While perusing this morning’s “San Francisco Chronicle” I happened to come across your article, and I’m so glad that you had the inspiration, insight and courage to write this book.

I had not heard of it before, and I’m very sorry that I missed the mid-June book readings, but would love to share with you my experiences corresponding to men and women incarcerated in various prisons throughout the US — currently, three men in high max security at Pelican Bay State Prison; a man at a Virginia State prison, and a woman at the Trenton, NJ State Prison….all charged with/sentenced for life imprisonment… for murder.

Correspondence started six years ago after I had purchased their respective art works through THE FORTUNE SOCIETY in NYC. At that time (2005) THE FORTUNE SOCIETY had a special program and venue to exhibit both physically and on-line, prison artwork for sale at an auction site. http://fortunesociety.org

The incredible quality, skillful and often tender nature of these prison artworks blew me away! As an artist myself, I wanted to communicate with these men and women…first and foremost to encourage, uplift, inspire, share artwork, and ultimately form a very unique and special friendship with each one of them. The amount of letters and artwork I’ve received from them over the years can fill tomes!

It wasn’t until most recently that after six years of writing that I took the plunge and directly asked each of them why they were in prison (i.e., what they were charged with.) There is no doubt in my mind that people who have committed murder in the past can become transformed, matured, compassionate, of good service to others, and lead wonderful, even exemplary lives if and when paroled.

My husband and I are currently in the process of sending in completed PBSP CDC visitation forms for review and approval so we can visit three men at the PELICAN BAY STATE PRISON in Crescent City.

I will go to BOOK PASSAGE and purchase your book. Again, thank you for exploring this (much charged) subject.
Sincerely,
Leslie



One Comment to “Correspondence with Prisoners”

  1. Betty says:

    There are some who have not committed murder, rape or any other heinous act, yet are still in there on the same terms with the same tortures… they suffer the same inequality, yet their coming out is more challenging because they have to learn to not hate the world for a unjust punishment that was doled out by a corrupt justice system. Even one is too many in this sort of situation.

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FEATURED REVIEWS


Life After Murder challenges us to do the unthinkable in the era of mass incarceration – view those accused of heinous crimes as worthy of our care, compassion and concern. Nancy Mullane, a white woman who once was just as ignorant about the real world of crime and punishment as the typical television viewer, takes us on a remarkable journey behind bars and introduces us to five unforgettable men who are struggling to transform their lives. Through their stories we are reminded of the power and possibility of redemption, as well the nearly unforgiveable crime our nation has committed: treating some human beings as disposable.

–MICHELLE ALEXANDER

 

“Life After Murder is a gripping behind the scenes look at men who have committed heinous crimes yet still challenge our humanity by asking us to truly consider the meaning of redemption. This is journalism at its finest and a must-read for anyone interested in the realities of our prison system.”

–TOM AMMIANO, California Assembly Member

 

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