WORDSUNCAGED IS A CREATIVE PLATFORM, CREATED BY THE MEN OF A-YARD CALIFORNIA STATE PRISON, LANCASTER AND CALSTATE LA PROFESSOR, DR. BIDHAN CHANDRA ROY: ITS PURPOSE IS FOR INCARCERATED ARTISTS, WRITERS, STUDENTS AND POETS TO DIALOGUE, AND CRITICALLY ENGAGE WITH YOU. WE INVITE YOU TO EXPERIENCE OUR VOICES — UNCAGED FROM THE PRISON WALLS. WE INVITE YOU TO RETHINK WHO INCARCERATED MEN ARE. WE INVITE YOU TO EXPLORE OUR COMMON HUMANITY TOGETHER. WE INVITE YOU TO IMAGINE ALTERNATIVES TO OUR CURRENT SYSTEM OF MASS INCARCERATION IN THE UNITED STATES.
"When I first visited California State Prison, Lancaster what I saw there were not prisoners, but cages filled of hundreds of lights —lights of knowledge, wisdom, compassion, love, insight and remorse. It was as if hundreds of candles had been locked in a distant closet, or that the stars had been hidden behind the blanket of the desert night, denying us the light that they had to shine upon the world."
This website is our attempt to uncage these lights.
-Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy
More about the program...
Words Uncaged links English 250 (Understanding Literature) with the Paws for Life partnership involving the CDCR and Karma Rescue. Professor Bidhan Roy teaches both the English 250 course at CSULA and weekly classes for inmates at the Lancaster Maximum Security Prison. Both CSULA students and Lancaster inmates read and discuss literature and write both expressively and analytically. Both students and inmates also work with training rescue dogs as part of Karma Rescue's Paws for Life program and write about their experiences. These journals and letters are exchanged and both students and inmates learn about the varying responses to their reading and to their experience with the animals.