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Inside World – Parchman Inmate Publication (1949-1981)

Inside Worldwas a magazine published monthly by and for the inmates of the State Penitentiary in Parchman, Mississippi.  This publication began in 1949 under the authorization of Superintendent Marvin E Wiggins.  The major sponsor for the magazine, at its inception, was Institutional Education Director W.R. Burris.  The policy of Inside World, as stated in the November 1950 issue is “…to provide a means of expression and reflection of the most constructive thoughts of men in prison—to provide a medium of constructive discussion of matters of common interest—to disseminate information of general interest—and to add to their store of inspiration.” 

Included in issues of Inside World are editorials concerning topics such as crime, religion, and practical issues related to living in the prison.  Also included are inmate poetry, articles about prison sporting events, humorous quips and cartoons, crossword puzzles, and many other articles and activities.  Indeed the magazine issues provide a unique look into the lives of state prisoners during the time periods in which they were published.

The Mississippiana Collection at McCain Library and Archives, located at the University of Southern Mississippi, houses many Inside World issues dating from 1949 until 1981.   For more information about this periodical, contact Andrew Rhodes at Andrew.Rhodes@usm.edu or 601.266.6765. To see more Items of the Month, click here.

Text by Andrew Rhodes, Mississippiana Specialist