Continuing Support

The love for reading and writing that develops among so many members must continue to be cultivated. As DC has no long-term prison, at 18 members are transferred to federal prisons across the country. Many receive no letters or moral support from home and the isolation can be crippling. Each month, through the Continuing Support Program, Free Minds sends discussion questions, one new book, and creative writing and book review assignments to members who have turned 18 and been transferred to federal prison.  Free Minds also hosts monthly Write Night events at which volunteers write feedback for the incarcerated poets.

Write Night poems with comments

Through regular written correspondence and a monthly newsletter (The Free Minds Connect), Free Minds strengthens relationships first built at the DC Jail and continues to monitor and assist members’ progress toward achieving their goals.

The newsletter features our Books Across the Miles! ‘virtual book club’. Since 2002, Free Minds has been sending individually tailored book selections to members in Federal Prison. Now, through BAM!, these members will also receive the same book every three months. In addition, they will receive a set of discussion questions and writing prompts about the book. Their responses will be featured in the monthly newsletter Free Minds Connect, which is sent to over 150 young men in more than 37 prisons across the country. Free Minds Connect offers a place for our members to engage in a written dialogue about the book they have read together.

Read some sample issues of The Free Minds Connect:

Connect Parenthood
April 2011, Vol. 1, Issue VI
Connect Forgiveness
August 2011, Vol. 1, Issue IX
Connect Renewal
December/January 2012, Vol. 1, Issue XVI
Connect Patience
February 2013, Vol. 2, Issue I
Connect RIP Tribute
May 2013, Vol. 2, Issue III
Connect Temptations
June-July 2013, Vol. 2, Issue IV
Connect The Mask I Wear
November 2013, Vol. 2, Issue VI
Connect If I Knew Then
September 2014, Vol. 3, Issue III
Connect Hope
November-December 2014, Vol. 3, Issue IV
Connect Pride
February 2015, Vol. 3, Issue V
Connect Learning
May 2015, Vol. 4, Issue I
Connect DC Our City
July 2015, Vol 4, Issue II
Connect Moving Forward
September 2015, Vol 4, Issue III
Connect Family
November 2015, Vol 4, Issue IV

I love how powerful the Connect issues are becoming. The HOPE issue was something special. I most definitely needed to hear it after some bad news I got. I was really stressing and then I got the Connect about HOPE. Everything in it I needed to hear and it actually boosted my morale. I appreciated other people sharing their struggles and hopes because it helped put my own situation into perspective. I can’t wait to see what will be in the Pride issue.
—Marquis