Two interesting projects which help us to see prisoners as real people, and which present them with dignity and respect.
Boston-based photographer Trent Bell, whose work is well-known in the architectural and interior design realms, got involved in a more personal project after a childhood friend -- a man with a family and a successful career -- was convicted of a crime and sentenced to 36 years in jail.
The project involves large-scale portraits of prisoners with the words of letters they would write to "their younger selves" superimposed on the portrait.
To read the words, click on the photo for a larger version.
Read an article with four of the twelve portraits.
California-based photographer Amy Elkins' project came out of corresponding with prisoners on death row. When one of these men was executed, she did more research online and came across extensive information about executions in Texas (which carries out over 1/3 of the executions in the U.S.) and about the prisoners who were executed.
Her project involves taking the mug shot and portions of their last words, and incorporating them into unique photographs.
To read the words, click on the photo at the right for a larger version.
View more photographs online.
Read more about this project and about the conditions of prisoners.
Read the Huffington Post article about her project.