Since May 2020, educators, artists, and organizers – many returning citizens – say they are willing to write, edit and translate humanizing memorials of those who have passed in US prisons while living or working during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mourning Our Losses (MOL) reaches out to loved ones, inside and outside of facilities to host the remembrances.
MOL aims to maintain a comprehensive record of deaths that happened behind bars.
To date, MOL posted more than 240 writings, photographs, letters, artwork, or other items to honor the memory of loved ones.
MOL has grown from a dozen to more than 60 volunteers who advocate for the release of incarcerated people in prisons, jails, and immigration facilities across the country. This work is done because they say that governors, judges and legislators are willing to sacrifice the lives of people in confinement during The Age of COVID-19.
MOL welcomes memorial submissions by anyone who knew and loved someone who passed during the pandemic.
Mourning Our Losses
PO Box 4430
Sunland, CA 91041
When submitting materials, be sure to include the name that the person went by and your name, as you would like it to appear on the MOL website. (submission may be anonymous)
Please note that submissions may be edited for clarity or spelling errors.
MOL requests information about prisoners to share, including, the circumstances of the person’s death, words about the deceased person’s talents, family, personality, or the writer’s relationship with the deceased.
During the summer month, MOL aims to create seven teams of volunteers working on different projects.
The Outreach Team will create and test new outreach strategies aimed at a nationwide outreach campaign in the fall.
The Collaborative Memorial Team will continue to create and improve memorials, even translate some memorials to Spanish.
The Travelling Memorial Team will continue planning the traveling memorial exhibit, whose purpose is to educate the public about the toll of the Covid-19 pandemic behind bars.
The Research and Tracking Team will update MOL records and also search for news about individual deaths and send out public information requests to gather new information.
The Advocacy Support Team will focus on providing support for MOL’s inside volunteers through letter-writing campaigns, particularly to support inside volunteers in distress.
The Social Media Team will continue to use social media to share MOL memorials and to share the calls of advocates and public health experts who call for decarceration and greater protection for people inside prisons.
The Website Team will maintain the MOL website, including updating the Losses page and continuing posting new memorial submissions.
MOL originated from the Lee Arrendale and Pulaski State Prisons in Georgia, the Yale Undergraduate Prison Project in Connecticut as well as students, educators, and advocates from California, Colorado, Connecticut Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, New York, and Texas.