The Harbinger is proud to present selected works of Patrick Irving. Irving writes First Amend This!, a monthly newsletter that offers a firsthand look into the Idaho prison system, drawing from his personal experiences in a maximum security institution.
Selected artworks which capture Mr. Rodriguez' experience of incarceration.
Everyone creates memories, even incarcerated people.
I dreamt of freedom last night
I understood death to be an essential part of life, but understanding this fact still didn’t make the experience of losing someone dear any easier.
So it’s with the strongest desire / That I continue to write / I continue to fight / To bring attention to my situation / So I can get back to life
I can’t hear myself, but I know, / One day I will. / I continue to listen.
Sometimes I feel as if I’ve been sentenced to an endless season of Lock-Up, the T.V. show. That’s the best way to describe my life.
This is the part that people in the real world do not see: the aftermath of a life sentence.
It can be difficult for many in occupied Hawai‘i to imagine a Hawai‘i without prisons, but it has always been possible.
I use my gift of courage to help other women like the former me, and believe me, it is no easy task.
Not everyone is guilty, so don’t rush to judgment.
Through the sands of time, the hourglass revealed a young lad who had destroyed his life by choices he made at the age of twenty-seven.
While reading about the tactics perpetuated on the citizens of these countries – shock therapy in both economic and physical forms – I couldn't help but to get a lump in my throat, as I recognized many of them taking
So much attention has been placed on prisoners that many times their families have been forgotten, when in reality family assistance is key to rehabilitation.
I learned the history of African Americans, the history of America and the ins and outs of our political system. I learned what all the fuss was about; and the crazy part was, I cared!
I realized that the pain I was experiencing in solitary confinement must be physically affecting/modifying my brain, yet I knew that I lacked the qualifications to convince a court of that.
Learning America's history moved me to think of my involvement with crime as being victimized, which in turn drove me to prove my innocence and wrongful conviction.
We have a lot of fighting left to do, both in court and in the legislature, and my work will continue on this issue and many others.
All it takes is an attentive ear and a few kind words.
The prisoners here at Western Correctional Institute have suffered extensively under the authority of the prison staff.
The fight against mass incarceration in the state of Virginia continues, and it begins with sentencing reform by reevaluating the consequences of Va. Code 19.2-298.01.
We are humans whose humanity is being deprived.
There was a time, not too long ago, when treatment and addiction therapy were the gold standards. But not today.
Today is “Attica Day.” It was exactly 50 years ago that the National Guard opened fire on prisoners and corrections officers in A-block yard.
The kid’s name was Lil’ Yo—well, that’s what all his little buddies called him—and immediately his presence snagged my attention.
Somehow, someway we always found our way back to one another, a rare occurrence in prison, but one that I have interpreted as a divine intervention.
As the number of prisoners contracting COVID-19 increases, prison conditions are changing for the worse.
A Washington prisoner gets a glimpse of small-town holiday Americana during the pandemic...
There are any number of ways men prepare to survive a prison sentence. If you’re Black, instructions come early in life. How to endure the death-dealing coronavirus wasn’t one of those lessons for me.
We have to stop this willingness to want to destroy one another. We have to love ourselves and others.
Some say that the justice system is broken, while others say it’s doing exactly what it’s designed to do.