Prison Issues Talk Online

PITO No. 08-100-07
Prison Issues Talk Online
by Yraida L. Guanipa


A few years ago in one of those days of my grim incarceration I received a Tenacious issue, a "Zine" of writings by women in prison across the country. I do not recall how I learned about Tenacious; however I clearly remember how much I enjoyed reading the issue, mostly because the newsletter is female oriented.

I immediately wrote to Vikki Law (the editor of Tenacious) and since then Tenacious, Vikki and her daughter Siu Loong have been part of my life in and outside prison.

Today I want to share with all of you how vital are those newsletter to the mental health of prisoners as well as a tool for a successful re-entry to society.

Maybe Vikki, all Tenacious' donors and all of those who write to and for prisoners such as Paul Wright, Silja Talvi, November Coalition and many more do not know the positive impact and benefits that they made to prisoners.

Keeping in contact with the outside word is essential to survive in prison and to easy the reincorporation in society. Tenacious touched my heart while I was incarcerated and still does, not too long ago I received a letter from a female prisoners Shauri, she had read an article published in Tenacious written by me.

She stated in her letter how she was motivated by the article, so motivated that she was able to tell me her fears. She wrote: "I just want to find a friend outside someone to talk to and help me in learning of getting around people .... Upon my release (she has been more than 11 years in prison) I think I will have to run into mountains to hide away from people... It is hard and scary being in a different [world]..."
I still sometimes feel like I want to run into the mountains, but I also know that we can make it and you will make it Shauri.

Due to my conditions of supervised release I am barred to write to Shauri . I hope that some of you can send a card or a letter to Shauri, here is her information:

Shauri Stamper No. 1108110
C.P. 316
3 John Bennet Dr.
Ft. Madison, IA 52627

I love you all

Yraida (Leo) Guanipa

After spending ten years, 6 months and 18 days in prison, Yraida L. Guanipa now lives in Florida. In 2005, utilizing the Bureau of Prison's new e-mail system for prisoners, she began "Prison Talk On-line" (PTO), e-mailed descriptions of life at the Federal Correctional Camp in Coleman, Florida. After her release in December 2006, she changed the title to "Prison Issues Talk On-line" and continues to describe the effects of incarceration on not only her but also her family and community. She can be reached via e-mail at