This week, PEN America posted an interview with current PEP student Patty Prewitt to their website. A non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of free expression through programming in creative writing, PEN America has a longstanding engagement with incarcerated writers through the Prison Writing Program.
The interview is an illuminating read for those curious about reading, writing, and the circulation of printed material in the prison setting. As a published author and an avid creative writer enrolled in PEP at the Women’s Eastern Reception, Diagnostic, and Correctional Center in Vandalia, MO, Patty has long advocated for increasing access to the printed word inside of prisons.
Restrictions on book possession, both by number of titles and their content, pose significant challenges for our students, many of whom are avid writers and readers like Patty. Instructors for the Prison Education Project often find themselves facing the challenge of seeking to enrich student learning while complying with prison institutional policy on book lending and book content.
Read Patty’s full interview here.