Incarcerated Youth Write the Stories of Their Lives

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About Justin Cascio

Justin Cascio is a writer, editor, and activist. He has written on food, lifestyle, gender, and sexuality for The Good Men Project, xoJane, and other publications; his work has been selected as Editor's Picks on Open Salon.
Justin is a former managing editor of The Good Men Project Magazine and editor of The Good Life, and a founding editor of You can follow him on Twitter, Google, and Facebook.


  1. It would be nice if Sister Janet had the grace to admit the truth, that in 1995 I, as an author and illustrator of children’s books, had a dream to teach my creative writing program that I had started in public schools to incarerated youth at Central Juvenile Hall. At the invitation of the principal of the school, Arthur McCoy, I went in and started teaching. It was after I had been doing this for a numberofmonths that I spoke to Sister Janet and she offered to help me. Duane Noriyuki came after this and sat in on my class, as did the other founding writers. I came up with the name InsideOUT Writers and produced the book What We See. I ran the organization, wrote all the grants and raised all the funds during the most difficult formative years, after which, I was tossed aside at the end of 2005. Incredibly, the board went on to hire my replacement who was then charged with stealing $120,000 from IOW, yet the board, including Sister Janet, was never held accountable. Conflict is a part of life. What is wrong is to lie about the truth of how this organization was formed.This has broken my heart as I gave my life to create InsideOUT Writers and to help these young people. I still have many friends of the teachers and the youth to this day and I have continued to do programs as can be seen in my essay, LA to Belfast: Art, Gangs and the Stiff Kitten, published in the most recent issue of I have kept silent most of these years,but it is hard to see such an injustice continue and I am trying to speak out more boldly about it now.

    • When I received notification of your comment yesterday morning, I forwarded it to Wendy Killian, the current Executive Director of InsideOUT Writers, who I interviewed for this article. She has not yet responded.

      One of the difficulties in telling a complete story is in unearthing the details that have been purposely erased and elided. Thank you for speaking out.


  1. [...] doing it well. Organizations that Omaze has benefitted provide arts education in public schools, teach writing to incarcerated youth, and support other visionary causes. “There are a lot of great organizations out there. We look [...]

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