ABSTRACT

In the late 1990s, prison journalism is no longer a central institution of prison culture. The venerable Prison Mirror began its 110th year of continuous publication in 1997, the seniormost prison publication by probably a half-century. The Menard Time, another paper with a long history, retreated to an unpredictable publishing schedule in 1995 and 1996 because of frequent lockdowns at the prison. In 1986, Billy Sinclair, who had been at Angola since 1965, was approached by a prison employee trying to sell him a pardon. The most evident defeat for the penal press was in California, where virtually none of its prison papers published in 1995, and those that did belied their impressive history. To survive in conditions hostile to prison journalism, inmates have come up with creative solutions. Using money raised outside the prison, Luke Janusz bought a computer, hired a person to work on it, and contracted with a press to print Odyssey.