Photo by Brian McDermott

Prison Journalism Project has a unique training and publishing model that is straightforward and inclusive.

Each incarcerated person who expresses interest in writing for PJP receives a detailed submissions guide that includes writing prompts. As they submit stories, we share journalism training handouts that we have developed, including an instructional newsletter by a former Reuters editor with four decades of experience. This fall, we sent each writer a copy of PJP x Inside, a print newspaper embedded with training tips for incarcerated writers and their communities.

Once a writer has demonstrated a strong body of work, we invite them to be contributors. Having achieved this status, these individuals are given first consideration for our PJP J-school correspondence program, through which we are currently providing mentorship to 15 individuals who work to hone their journalism skills, publish stories on our site, and take part in collaborative reporting projects with each other and with outside reporters. The first cohort includes four women including  a formerly incarcerated writer. 

To cement their roles as prison journalists, we have also  partnered with the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) to establish the first national chapter of incarcerated journalists. 

Our goal is to create a nationwide network of prison correspondents. 

Learn more about Prison Journalism Project’s editorial process.

Subscribe to our twice-a-month newsletter for more insight into our processes. In addition to our main newsletter Inside Story, which highlights our writers’ best work from the previous month, Inside Story: Under the Hood delves into challenges and thought processes as we edit stories, execute projects and develop training resources.