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About this collection

The Northwest Prison Archive aims to provide researchers, policy-makers, students, and others with primary sources into the history and ongoing reality of mass incarceration in Washington state and the broader Northwest. It provides documentary evidence of the robust civil society that exists within the state’s prisons and detention centers, as well as the complex linkages between prisoner organizing and the diverse communities that incarcerated people come from, return to, or are otherwise connected with. The archive gathers documents of and testimonials by incarcerated people about issues ranging from criminal justice and the urban condition to popular culture and the natural world.

The Northwest Prison Archive aims to provide a fuller, public accounting of the human magnitude of mass incarceration in the region as part of understanding its effects across the nation. The project emphasizes currently and formerly incarcerated people, who are rarely considered as political actors or constituencies. Yet prisons house several longstanding organizations that emphasize peer education, personal transformation, and community justice. The archive highlights their voices and experiences as a way to assess the history and consequences of mass incarceration in the Northwest.  


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Oral Histories

Surin Lay

Ed Mead 

Prisoner Publications

The Abolitionist

Anarchist Black Dragon

Prison Legal News

Red Dragon

Rock! Working to Extend Democracy to All

United Families and Friends of Prisoners

Washington Prison News Service

Personal Papers

Ed Mead [forthcoming]

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Founding Contributors

The Northwest Prison Archive was founded in 2017 as a collaborative digital scholarship project between Dan Berger, University of Washington Bothell IAS Associate Professor, and the UW Bothell/Cascadia Library. Please contact any of the below founding contributors if you have questions about the Archive or would like to donate or participate.

Dan Berger, Associate Professor, School of Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Washington Bothell

Dani Rowland, American & Ethnic Studies Librarian, FYE Coordinator, UW Bothell/Cascadia Library

Denise Hattwig, Curator, Digital Scholarship + Collections, UW Bothell/Cascadia Library

 
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