The Prison Public Memory Project uses history, dialogue, the arts and technology to build public memory and safe spaces where people from all walks of life can come together to engage in conversation and learning about the complex and contested role of prisons in communities and society.

The Project has ambitious plans to work with local individuals and organizations in communities with prisons across the country to recover, preserve, interpret, present and honor the memories of what took place in those institutions, integrating community knowledge with more traditional forms of historic preservation.

Through a variety of creative, educational and participatory activities, The Project also hopes to help communities facing closure of their prisons to connect with their pasts in imagining and planning for new futures.

All prisons close at some point and the reasons for closure vary — buildings that are too old or outdated; changes in thinking about crime and punishment; a recession; a scandal. The United States is currently experiencing an unprecedented number of prison closures with several states, including New York, closing multiple prisons.

Too often, when the gates are locked, workers retired or reassigned and the prisoners transferred elsewhere, the stories, photos, and artifacts – the prison memories of people obscure, famous and infamous — are scattered and forever lost. We think this is a wasted opportunity.

We are starting in Hudson NY.



We welcome contributions to this website/blog in the form of comments on specific blog posts and general information relevant to the topics presented in the posts. Please use the comment area at the bottom of each blog post to contribute such comments.

We will review all comments posted on the blog and only publish those or pieces of those that do not compromise the privacy rights of individuals. We reserve the right to change the names of people to protect such preferences and rights.

We also encourage constructive feedback and suggestions for improving the website/blog.



Please contact us at or using the form below:

Contact Us
Do you have a memory of one of the prison sites that you'd like to share with us? Are you looking for information about someone related to you who may have lived or worked at one of the prisons? Please write to us using the form below with any questions or comments you have. If you'd prefer not to identify yourself, feel free to write "anonymous" in the name fields.