Illustration by Chastyn “Nova” Hicks

In prison, it’s easy for inmates to feel helpless and soulless. We are imprinted with a number and treated like one too, made to live in a deserted field. Prison guards watch over our every move to ensure we do not escape to freedom.

This pumpkin patch resembles a typical prison yard, barren and full of inmates in orange — hence the pumpkins. Since the pumpkins represent inmates, they’re imprinted with prison ID numbers.

The scarecrow depicts a prison guard who is dressed appropriately in a corrections officer’s uniform, equipped with a utility belt and sheriff’s star. 

And the witch in the sky represents our highest lookout — the prison warden who cackles and hovers over us all, day and night.

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.

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Chastyn "Nova" Hicks

Chastyn “Nova” Hicks is a writer incarcerated in Arizona. Writing is Chastyn’s passion, and he sees it as his calling. He has been witness to many experiences as an individual who straddles different worlds: gay, straight, Puerto Rican, Latino and Black. He hopes to inspire others to be the best versions of themselves, and to improve the world through his words and his voice. Chastyn wants people to know that they are never alone, he is there to listen and provide hope.