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Photo by Luis Galvez on Unsplash

Prison laughter is hard to hear
It is usually at the expense of others
I hear laughter and cringe with dread
Laughter used to be associated with joy
Everyone joined in the pleasure events
Now I look around for the targeted victim
Fearing that it is most likely me again
Laughter in prison is rarely without a victim

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

Dorothy Maraglino is a writer incarcerated in California. Writing is how she processes the world around her and devotes most of her time to short works that share the realities of prison.