Half Letter Press, 2020. Paperback, 199pp., 5.5 x 8.5 inches
In 2001, the group Temporary Services invited their friend Angelo, a prisoner in California, to write about and draw the different things he had seen other prisoners invent.
Angelo illustrated everything from immersion heaters with electrical plugs made from razor blades, paper clips, and popsicle sticks, to cooking methods for bologna jerky on built-in cell light fixtures. These drawings and writings became the book and widely exhibited project Prisoners’ Inventions, first published in 2003.
This redesigned and expanded edition of Prisoners’ Inventions includes many pages of additional drawings and writings that Angelo produced after the last printing, as well as a new introduction by Temporary Services that details the origins and life of the project. Prisoners’ Inventions reveals an often-neglected side of prison existence: the need to create those objects and experiences that allow the most basic human desires to be satisfied.