With generous gifts of 400 books from First Book, and a grant from Literacy for Incarcerated Teens, Prison Writes has had a busy summer:

Prison Writes led workshops for at risk-youth (teens within the court system) in Brooklyn group homes; we provided programs for formerly incarcerated young people at the New York Public Library; and we visited youth at Rikers Island to deliver the donated books to their book cart (provided by the Brooklyn Public Library). All our efforts were in collaboration with the accomplished faculty of New York Writers Workshop, and all were a success.

Through our engaging, multi-dimensional workshops, young people are introduced to character and plot development and story line. They meet real authors, participate in individual and group writing exercises, learn about the benefits of journaling, and engage in fun activities. Most important is the opportunity to explore literature and develop their writing skills in a safe and supportive environment.

We’ve forged strong relationships with the young residents and staff at the group homes, and we all are eager to resume our workshops. Your generous support, along with monies received through our fundraising and grant-writing efforts, will significantly impact the continuation of these important programs. 

All contributions are via New York Writers Workshop and are tax deductible.



PW Advisory Board member Hernan Carvente, blog contributor Steven Pacheco, Executive Director Jessica Hall and Program Intern Alessandra Valencia Ramos








Emma Goldman-Sherman (left) with Jessica Hall (right), the Executive Director of Prison Writes
Emma Goldman-Sherman (left) with Jessica Hall (right), the Executive Director of Prison Writes

Jessica Hall, the Executive Director of Prison Writes, has worked directly with at risk youth in New York City for over twenty years.  She has conducted intergenerational oral history projects with public school students and memoir writing with court involved youth. Jessica received her BA in Political Science from Brooklyn College graduating CumLaude.  She graduated with honors with her MSW from the Silberman School of Social Work in NYC with a focus on Community Organizing. Jessica is a licensed social worker.