Skip to main content
Shopping cart: items Cart

Distributed for WhiteWalls

Prisoners’ Inventions

Imagine that your house spans six by nine feet, your mattress is just two inches thick, you are known to your neighbors by an identification number, and items most consider crucial to everyday existence are outlawed. How do inmates in prisons like this throughout the United States make such lives bearable?
In 2001, the artists’ collective Temporary Services asked an incarcerated artist named Angelo to share with them the ways in which inmates adapt to their confinement. Angelo responded with over one hundred pages of meticulously detailed ink drawings and text. The resulting compilation, Prisoners’ Inventions, is a unique guide to prison life, covering subjects ranging from how to cook a grilled cheese sandwich in a locker to how to chill a soda using a toilet. Many of the documented items—such as cigarette lighters, condoms, even alarm clocks—are considered contraband, and Angelo includes anecdotes describing their creation and use.
Already featured in Playboy, Harper’s, Le Monde, and on This American Life, Prisoners’ Inventions provides powerful testimony to life "on the inside" as it is endured by over two million individuals in the United States alone.

119 pages | 79 line drawings | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2003

Art: Art--General Studies

WhiteWalls image

View all books from WhiteWalls

Table of Contents

Editorial Note

I. Home Furnishings
Cell Door Stops
Air Vent Covers
Light Covers
Work Tables
Entertainment Center
Contraband Radio
Modesty Curtain
Covered Wagon

II. Storage
Hook Assembly
Clothing Hanger
Property Locker Organizers
Ballpoint Pen Organizers
Pencil Box
Color Pencil Organizer

III. Clothing
Heating Food with Cell Light
Stingers (Immersion Heaters)
Toilet Paper "Bombs"
Cooking with Toilet Paper "Bombs"
Using the Cell Property Locker as a Grill
Cottage Cheese
Extra Finger

IV. Dining
Eating Off the Floor
Toilet Paper Mache Cup
The Tumbler
Insulated Bag
Cooling Drinks
Salt and Pepper Shakers

V. Personal Maintenance
In-Cell Workout Weight
Doing Laundry
Double-Edged Razor

VI. Bathing
Sink Nozzle
Shower Nozzle
Bird Bathing

VII. Smoking
General Information
Conserving Paper Matches
Reconditioned Cigarette Lighter
Battery Cigarette Lighter
Wick Vent
Wall Socket Cigarette Lighters
Electric Cigarette Lighter
Cigarette Lighter with Water Resister
Cigarette Lighter

VIII. Recreation
Muff Bag
Seagull Rocket
A Fishing Tale

IX. Gaming
Paper Mache Dice
Dice Table
Chess Board

X. Arts & Crafts
Picture Frames
Special Brushes
Stipple Brushed Portraits
Card Game
Glossing Over
House of Cards
Hobby Hot Glue Dispenser and Cigarette Lighter
Christmas Tree
Coca-Cola Machine

XI. Little Extras
Wake-up Alarm
Speakers/Audio Aids
External Speaker
Typewriter Ribbon Slitter
Mini Lathe

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press