N. L. Sweeney is an English Creative Writing graduate from Western Washington University. His work has been published by Flash Fiction Magazine, Niteblade, Defenestration Magazine, Jeopardy Magazine and Inroads: Writers in the Community. He currently writes editorials and feature news pieces for Prison Rideshare Network. When Sweeney's not writing, he busies himself with petting furry animals, learning Chinese and making friends in local tea shops.
A group of prison inmates, standing while unified by their mutual gang affiliation.
Latest News Prison Race Issues Prison System Issues

Prison Games: How Order Came from the Gang Violence

Gangs formed in prison many years ago as a way for prisoners to protect themselves. As a result, prisons experience order and balance with the violence. It is no secret that violence runs rampant in prisons. Or, that most of the violence is gang-related. The truth is, prisons didn’t always have gangs in them. Odd Read More…

A black woman protesting the lack of employment that she and many other black women are offered in society.
Latest News Re-Entry Programs & Jobs Recidivism in the US

Discrimination at Play: Finding Work After Incarceration as a Black Woman

Black women released from prisons have a harder times finding a job than anyone. Their unemployment rate is 43%. Steps need to be taken to reduce unemployment rates for them.   It’s no secret that reintegrating after incarceration is difficult. For a system that includes the name “corrections” in its title, our prison system is Read More…

Free College Education Program for Prison Inmates.
Latest News Prison Education Programs

Providing Education to Inmates: Smarter Criminals or Smart Solutions?

Providing education to inmates lowers recidivism. Yet, the government won’t invest in educating inmates even if it saves money in the long run. But, why? Currently, most Department of Corrections are not about reintegrating but about punishing. The deplorable incarceration and recidivism rates indicate a different approach is needed. Many inmates have turned to education Read More…

A group of inmates in face paint performing in an actor's workshop.
Latest News Prison Education Programs

Using the Arts to Set the Stage for Rehabilitation in America’s Prisons

Performing arts are an invaluable tool for rehabilitating the lives of inmates. Arts promote creativity and healthy engagement, improving inmates’ chances of reintegration into society. When thinking of therapy and rehabilitation, the last thing on a person’s mind is walking out on a stage. The idea of stepping into the proverbial spotlight is an anxiety-inducing Read More…

Someone in a hoodie obscuring their face clutching at metal bars on a dim day outside.
Breaking News Prison Health Issues Prison System Issues

The True Facts About Mental Illness Behind Bars & Mass Incarceration

When prisons can’t address mental illnesses properly for inmates, it becomes a larger issue of cruel and unusual punishment leading to mass incarceration. 1.2 million individuals are in jails and prisons each year. Between 300,000 and 400,000 are incarcerated on any given day. These are overwhelming figures for those individuals living with mental illness in Read More…

Offender Monnek Hall, left, spends time with her daughter Ayona Hall, age 13..
Latest News Parenting from Behind Bars Women's Prisons

As Women Inmate Population Increases, So Do the Problems on the Inside

The population of women behind bars increases for their non-violent offenses. With 80% of them mothers, there is little support for their kids and families. It’s no secret the United States has a problem with mass incarceration. While we account for only 4.4% of the world’s population, our prison population makes up 23% of the Read More…

Sheila Jarboe-Lickteig, the owner of the Hand Up, checks in on former inmates in the dining room.
Breaking News Re-Entry Programs & Jobs

Halfway Houses: Half-Baked Idea? Or Do They Really Work?

Halfway houses are options for inmates reintegrating society, but aren’t quite ready to return to their own lives. What’s their purpose? Do they really work? A few years ago, my brother moved in across the street from a halfway house. One chilly morning, he confided in me that he and his partner were somewhat concerned Read More…

Men in Prison Playing HALO Video Games
Latest News Prison Activities Videos & Audios

Can Video Games Benefit Inmates If They’re Allowed in Prisons? (Video)

Video games are prohibited in most prisons. Yet, they can provide positive benefits to inmates, including improving precision skills and keeping idle minds busy. The entire industry of video games is shrouded in controversy these days. Do video games have a positive or negative impact on players? Do they have an impact at all? According Read More…

An inmate in shadows grips the bars of his cell.
Keeping in Touch Latest News

Staying Connected Via Internet Behind Bars: A Youngster’s Perspective

When was the last time you completely disconnected from the internet? In a digital, socially connected, and global world, the thought of cutting oneself off from the net can be both a social and logistical nightmare. Sure, sometimes it might be nice to step away from all the noise pollution. Detoxing from all the status Read More…

Alice Marie Johnson some years ago on a prison visit with her family.
Famous Prisoners Series Latest News Prison Reforms

Trump Sets Prison Reform Precedent Thanks to Kim Kardashian

President Donald Trump commuted the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson. This comes a week after Kim Kardashian-West’s trip to the Oval Office. There, she spoke to the president about prison reform and pleaded Alice Marie Johnson’s case. Many are still bashing both reality TV stars. However, it marks an important moment for prison inmates, prison Read More…