Prison Health News is a print newsletter read by thousands of people who are locked up in prisons and jails across the United States. It is produced by a Philadelphia-based collective of writers and editors, most of whom have been in prison and are living with HIV, and includes the work of imprisoned artists and writers. Our readers are living inside a system that denies them prevention tools and treatment information about HIV, hepatitis, and other health issues. They are dealing with medical neglect, daily humiliations driven by intense stigma, and the destruction of their communities by mass imprisonment.
Who We Are…
We are on the outside, but many of us were inside before… and survived it. We are formerly incarcerated people and allies talking about health issues and trying to bring about a positive change for all people who are in prison now or ever have been in the past. This newsletter is about all of us.
We will be talking about health issues. For example, what is good nutrition? Where can you get services and information on the outside? We want to take your health questions seriously and break down complicated health information so that it is understandable.
We’re also here to help you learn how to get better health care within your facility and how to get answers to your health questions. Don’t get frustrated. Be persistent. In prison, it’s often hard to get what you want, but with health information, it doesn’t have to be impossible. Join us in our fight for our right to health care and health information.
Prison Health News is a project of Reaching Out: A Support Group with Action and the Institute for Community Justice, which are based at the HIV/AIDS services organization Philadelphia FIGHT. Volunteers at the AIDS Library (also at FIGHT) answer the many letters to us from people in prisons and jails asking for resources and health information.
Writing/editing collective: Benjamin Green, Che Gossett, Cliff Wms, Hannah Zellman, James, Jeanette Moody, Laura McTighe, Loretta Miles-Melendez, LuQman Abdullah, Najee Gibson, Roy Hayes, Sara Alvarez, Samuel Withers III, Suzy Subways, Teresa Sullivan, and Waheedah Shabazz-El.
The Summer 2010 issue will be available online in a few days (early June!) on the Institute for Community Justice website, where you can also read back issues, subscribe, and find out how to submit articles. There is also a contact list of organizations around the country that work with us on distribution and to support and advocate for people incarcerated in their cities and states. If you are in Philadelphia and would like to participate in the writing/editing collective, you can contact me at mizsubways (at) gmail.com.
To help distribute Prison Health News, contact:
Institute for Community Justice
21 S. 12th Street, 7th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107