Prison Writings

Creative Writing Programs

As with the self-help discussion, group creative writing is about to getting to the truth. About getting to the truth of the story of one’s own life. Each of us has a viewpoint that has never existed before and is uniquely ours. The writing down of these stories, whether in form of poetry, autobiography, or journaling, allows us to come to believe and understand that our story matters. In addition, the sharing of these stories allows us to move in the direction of taking off the masks we often put on a young age to protect ourselves from getting hurt. In doing so we find ourselves less alone and capable of finally removing the suffering from our pain, again simply by being seen.

Most of us, as it turns out, end up going through life carrying our stories around with us in our heads. It never gets organized enough to put down on paper. Or to put it in another way, it never gets examined carefully enough to understand the story itself. Writing helps us to begin to shed light on some of the motivating beliefs and questions we have in our lives that are otherwise left bubbling around in the back of our heads somewhere unexamined and unanswered. By getting it out of the head and down on paper we can start to examine the stories that run our lives. We can begin the process of searching backwards to find the origin of our belief systems. In effect, we can sometimes move from simply being a character in the story to the creator of the story itself.

Again, the ICF has seen the introduction of writing classes in prison achieve amazing results. Because writing is by its very nature a solitary exercise it is very well suited for this environment. Oftentimes with just a minimal amount of instruction and encouragement these individuals have quickly blossomed into very effective writers. The ICF has seen prisoners who could barely read or write virtually explode with insight once given the opportunity to explore their own landscape through writing.