Blog: Write UP, Rise UP

The unPrison Project team is excited to launch Write UP, Rise UP, our refreshed blog. Our blog will be a place to share stories about the issues women and girls face in prison and how these are tied to systems of oppression in the US. You’ll hear from currently and formerly incarcerated women as well as first hand accounts from our empowerment training programs. We’ll share impact information, success stories as well as keep you informed on policy matters. This is where we will announce updates to our work including new programs, media spotlights and exciting partnerships.

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Reflections at Dawn (Part 2): Jacqueline Mantz Rodriguez

June 30, 2022
Writing my story and reading Tessa’s story freed something in me. I let go of the shame of my past. Tessa was so kind when she read my thickly coiled words upon the page and offered me the forgiveness I had yet to give myself. . . . . READ FULL BLOG

 


Reflections at Dawn (Part 1): Jacqueline Mantz Rodriguez

June 16, 2022
When I volunteered for the Prison Education Project (PEP) and signed up to facilitate the Introduction to Autobiography class, I had no inkling that this was the beginning of a beautiful friendship; a friendship with teaching, writing, myself, and my student Tessa. . . . READ FULL BLOG

 


Home Sweet Home: David Breakspear

June 2, 2022
I’m not suggesting that my childhood home caused me problems. I’m confident in saying that without my childhood home, I’d have been in a lot worse position than I was, even though that wasn’t great. . . . READ FULL BLOG

 


Love 2 Learn: David Breakspear

May 12, 2022
I have loved learning all my life. School, however, was not for me. From day one, I had problems with nursery, infant, junior, and secondary school before being permanently excluded. But I had no problems with learning. That’s the thing with learning: it is everywhere. . . READ FULL BLOG

 


Are We Together (Part 2): Jacqueline Mantz Rodriguez

April 27, 2022
We continued our creative writing class with The Prison Education Project (PEP) at Luzira Maximum Security Prison in Uganda, Africa. We had gotten to know our writers and even to hear some of their story ideas. In the third class, the writers were invited to read a piece they worked on for homewor.. . . READ FULL BLOG

 


Are We Together (Part 1): Jacqueline Mantz Rodriguez

April 13, 2022
“I look deep into the lion’s eyes. It was me or him, so I stab him with my spear.  Chack, chack, chack, whumpf, whumpf,” said the writer as he grasped an imaginary spear and puffed out his cheeks to make the sound of the spear hitting the lion’s flesh. Helin, Los, and I were open-mouthed as we listened to our fellow writers as they sat together in white plastic chairs with their journals and pencils in hand, telling their stories via Zoom in our final creative writing class. … . . READ FULL BLOG


Why Did She Leave?: Koren (Korey) Brand

March 24, 2022
I saw her standing there
Yesterday morning,
Our eyes meet
And when my brain and my heart realize that it is her,
I turn my head
And focus my eyes
Far away.
. . READ FULL BLOG


What I’m Focusing on in Recovery: Katelynn (Katie) Joy Thibodeau

March 10, 2022
In my journey of recovery I have focused hard on becoming my best self, no matter what roadblocks stand in my way. One major goal I have for my life is to continue with my education, and eventually work on becoming a child psychologist. In recovery I have taken every opportunity to help others… . . READ FULL BLOG

 


Meet Katie

February 24, 2022
My name is Katelynn Joy Thibodeau, I lived 26 long and rough years. I spent those years moving around the New England states of Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Currently residing in the state of Vermont, and for the first time in those 26 years, I have stability. I got engaged last summer, to a woman who has a similar life history to myself. She challenges me daily to be the person I always dreamed of, but I did not believe was possible.. . . READ FULL BLOG


New Year, New Skills: Koren (Korey) Brand

January 13, 2022
As a young child, I was diagnosed with various mental illnesses. This was only the beginning of my childhood challenges. I was in second grade, about 7 years old, when I was first put on medication. I remember that day like it was yesterday. Even the first medications I was prescribed; adderall and risperidone. It was set up for me to get my meds in the nurse’s office at school daily. I remember feeling as though I was different from all of the other kids. . . READ FULL BLOG


My Fight Song: Koren (Korey) Brand

December 16, 2021
I take on more than I can accomplish sometimes,
The challenge keeps me sharp in my mind.
I want to help the people I love,
The people I once knew, who struggle with the same things that I once did, the things that I still do.
I preach to loved ones to not give money to those in active addiction,
How important this concept is. . . READ FULL BLOG


Meet Korey

December 5, 2021
Meet Korey, a 33 year old with an aversion to submission. Submission to addiction, submission to her mental illnesses (all of them), submission to being homeless and alone, submission to “the man”, and submission to backing down (from literally ANY fight) . It’s true she loves a good fight, but most of the battles she has faced were anything but “good”.
READ FULL BLOG