Human Me

Alien Spaceship in Omaha by Ruth Utnage

When I was little, around 4 or 5, my mom, her then boyfriend Tony, and I were driving somewhere in Omaha. It was late and I was tired. I had the whole backseat to myself, since it was the 80’s, almost nobody wore seat belts and I was kneeling with my stomach against the back …

Yeah, I Got Dreams by Ruth Utnage

Dreans so big that When I get there don’t nobody know how To reach me Except a select few Yeah, I got dreams Dreams so big that Everything looks beautiful From my view Easy Yeah, I got dreams Dreams so big that My existence challenges The word impossible Im’ma big ass deal Yeah, I got …

Correction Officers License To Abuse: If you don’t like what’s happening, you shouldn’t have come to prison by Ruth Utnage

I am going to talk about a highly controversial topic, correctional officer abuse of authority. I spend an extraordinary amount of effort humanizing correction officials. I don’t want to leave prison in 4 months with the lasting impression that authorities are untrustworthy or “bad” so I don’t practice that mentality now. Correctional employees have a …

I Need Help From The Mathematics Community! by Ruth Utnage

I need some help from the mathematics community, I need an Algebra text book. I know it seems basic, but I get out in 4 months and will be returning to college and I need to push on with my math studies. While I am a smart girl, I struggle with things like roots and …

Releasing From Prison: Do We Forget Our Prison Experiences? by Ruth Utnage

There’s this phenomenon with most prisoners that anyone who’s been in prison understands intimately: when someone your close to releases from prison and then doesn’t contact you while you’re still in. It hurts, a lot. I remember when I first fell in 2011 I came in and found someone I liked and we dated for …

The Marshall Byers Challenge? Gauntlet Thrown! by Ruth Utnage

Our very own, recently released man-stud-O’-war, Marshall Byers, says to me in an email recently to challenge him with something he can do that would be me living vicariously through him to raise my spirits until I go home in November. Well, ain’t that sweet… Below, in quotations, is my reply/request: “lol, a raise my …

24 Hours Until My Parole Hearing/24 Hours After My Parole Hearing by Ruth Utnage

24 Hours Until My Parole Hearing Sometimes I have to remind myself I’m stronger than I think. It’s less than 24 hours until my board hearing tomorrow and I still have the echoes of yesterdays 4th of July explosions ringing in my ears. Reminding me that freedom is never given, it’s fought for, earned. Prison …

How The Eviction Moratorium Is Harming Ex-Prisoners, Especially The Transgendered by Ruth Utnage

Releasing from prison is difficult. Compound that with cultural factors like race, gender, being transgender, and sex offenses and release becomes infinitely more difficult. My girlfriend, a transwoman of color with a sex offense, has been out since last year and still does not have housing. She makes great money for someone just released, hasn’t …

To Anyone Who Struggles Fresh Out Of Prison by Ruth Utnage

Prison is this, *yuck* we have to shed upon release. It’s not something we get out and forget about. Prison in and of itself is its own trauma upon a human body, mind, and spirit. Everything is brand new again, we are going to experience the world through our traumatized bodies. We need to understand …