Kenneth E. Hartman
Kenneth E. Hartman (born December 28, 1960) is an American writer and prison activist. A convicted murderer, he is serving life in prison in California.
When he was 19 years old, he murdered a homeless man after an alcohol and drug binge. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. While in prison, he has married and has fathered a daughter.
He was one of the proponents of the "Honor Yard" in California State Prison in Lancaster; the program involves "600 inmates who have promised to avoid drugs, gang activity and violence against each other or prison staff and who live in a section of the prison separated from the general inmates" where they may take training and classes. Hartman wrote about his experiences in prison and this program in his essay "A Prisoners' Purpose", which won one of the John Templeton Foundation's 2004 Power of Purpose awards. In a 2009 New York Times editorial, he described the effects of the recession on the prison system. He has also written against the penalty of life imprisonment without parole, calling it "the other death penalty". In a December 2014 feature for Harper's magazine, he described three decades of prison Christmases to illustrate the progressive attempts to dehumanize prisoners in the United States.
- Greg Botonis (March 21, 2005). "Better Life Behind Bars; Inmate Working Against Chaos". Daily News (Los Angeles, CA).
- John Templeton Foundation (2005). The Power of Purpose Awards 2004. Cosimo Inc. ISBN 1-59605-121-3.
- Kenneth E. Hartman (5 September 2009). "The Recession Behind Bars". The New York Times.
- Voices from Solitary: Kenneth E. Hartman on “The Other Death Penalty”, 19 May 2010
- "Christmas in Prison: Greeting the holidays in an age of mass incarceration" in Harper's magazine, December 2014 issue
- Hoffer Award Memoir winner 2010