Comic Books from the Real Cost of Prisons Project
Real Cost of Prisons Comics Wins PASS Award
March, 2009 The National Council on Crime and Delinquency awarded the Real Cost of Prisons Comix the
respected PASS (Prevention for a Safer Society) award. For more information see NCCD's press release (PDF).
California Prison Moratorium Project Conference, November 10, 2007 in
Fresno, CA. "Uncaging the Valley: Women & Children in Prison Alley." A slide show by
Mary Sutton of Center for the Study of Political Graphics in Los Angeles
included pages from Real Cost of Prisons comic books, including "Prisoners
of the War on Drugs."
Two comic books are available from Real Cost of
Prisons Project. The stories and statistical
information in each comic book is thoroughly researched
and documented. As of February 2010, 125,000 copies of
the comic books have been printed and more than 115,000
have been sent to families of people who are
incarcerated, people who are incarcerated and to
organizers and activists throughout the country. The
demand for them is constant and the ways in which they
are being used is inspiring.
Comic books are sent organizations who submit a one
page email or letter explaining how you will use the
comic books in your organizing, community education and
Two of the comic books are still available; however, we ask you to
help pay for the cost of mailing by making them to your
organization by making a tax-deductible donation
(http://www.realcostofprisons.org/donate.html) to the
RCPP to help pay for postage. It costs approximately
$30 to send one box of 400 comic books via media mail.
This will allow us to help defray the costs of mailing
sets of comic books to prisoners.
Please contact us at the email address below if making
a donation presents an obstacle to your organization
receiving comic books. Our goal remains for you to
receive and use our comic books.
Your letter should include contact name, mailing
address, phone number, email address and brief
description of your organization or program. Please
specify how many comic books you can use and which ones
you are requesting. Organizations/groups can receive up
to 200 copies of each comic book depending on your
needs. Due to demand, we cannot guarantee you will
receive the number you request but we will try to meet
Prisoners of the War on Drugs is 16 pages with a four-color
cover and black-and-white interior pages and Prisoners of a Hard Life is 20
The Real Cost of Prisons Comix are available in an
anthology from PM Press. The book includes the three
comic books, a preface by Lois Ahrens, an introductory
essay by Craig Gilmore and Ruth Wilson Gilmore in
addition to comments from activists in prison and in
the "free world" on ways they have used the comic books
in their organizing work. The PM Press web site has
reviews of the book.
Send your letter to:
Real Cost of Prisons Project
5 Warfield Place
Northampton, MA 01060
Or email: email@example.com
Prison Town: Paying the Price
By Kevin Pyle and Craig Gilmore
Prison Town is now out of print. It is available here as a download, or in the
anthology from PM Press
The comic book tells the story the ways in which the
financing and siting of prisons and jails effects the
people of rural communities in which prison are built.
It also tells the story of the how mass incarceration
effects the people of urban communities where the
majority of people who are incarcerated come from.
Included in the comic book are alternatives to the
Click here to see the entire comic book as a PDF. (WARNING: the file is very large (3.6MB) and will not load easily on a dial-up connection!)
As an extension of our comic book series, we have
developed a number of one-page flyers and posters
that feature pages from the comics. Please feel free to
print them out and use them in your work.
One-page flyers from from Prison Town: Paying the Price by Kevin Pyle and Craig Gilmore
Prisoners of the War on Drugs
By Sabrina Jones, Ellen Miller-Mack and Lois Ahrens
The comic book includes: the history of the war on
drugs, mandatory minimums and how racism creates
harsher sentences for people of color; stories on how
the war on drugs works against women, three strikes,
obstacles to coming home after incarceration, how mass
incarceration destabilizes neighborhoods, and
alternatives to the present system.
Click here to see the entire comic book as a PDF. (WARNING: the file is very large (1.7MB) and will not load easily on a dial-up connection!)
One-page flyers from Prisoners of the War on Drugs by Sabrina Jones, Ellen Miller-Mack and Lois Ahrens:
Prisoners of a Hard Life: Women and Their Children
By Susan Willmarth, Ellen Miller-Mack, and Lois Ahrens
The comic book includes stories about women trapped
by mandatory sentencing and the War on Drugs and the
"costs" of incarceration for women and their families.
A two-page story details the trial and sentencing of
Regina McKnight. Also included are "Change is Possible"
alternatives to the present system, a glossary and
footnotes. 20 pages with a four-color cover.
Click here to see the entire comic book as a PDF. (WARNING: the file is very large (2.3MB) and will not load easily on a dial-up connection!)
From Prisoners of a Hard Life: Women and Their Children by Susan Willmarth, Ellen Miller-Mack, and Lois Ahrens .
Note: PDF's can be enlarged for easier reading