Please keep in mind that this blog often has comments and statements directly from the women on death row. Statements of grief, statements of innocence, statements of regret and sorrow. If bearing audience to these women's feelings, my opinions or those of commenters offends you please do not read on.

Kelly's Obscure Prison Observation of the Day


I offer every woman I write to a free book every quarter. I always choose three, a nonfiction book, a fiction and something technical like a how to or something similar. I print them a handout that has the available books and a description. This quarter one of the books was about hair braiding and had 25 different styles. Usually they choose an assortment, a few go with the popular fiction, some with a book on some historic figure. This time, however, every, single one wanted the book on braids.

I was really surprised. I don't think that's ever happened in all the years I have been doing this. I got curious and went back through the files to see how many had long hair. Only about half of the women I write to have hair long enough to braid. Curious, I asked the next one of them who called. Apparently, knowing how to do some really painstakingly elaborate braids is a lucrative business venture in women's prison.

This fascinated me to no end so I started thinking of articles I could write about the underground industries of women's prisons and how some of these women have skills and aptitudes for business that the world can take advantage of. There is something to salvage here. Something not only beautiful but profitable and economical.

My wheels are turning...