Prison Radio

Dear Friend,

“My country’s justice system is designed to disrupt your sanity and annihilate your dignity from the very beginning.” – Heather Jarvis

Twenty-nine-year-old Heather Jarvis is a mother, daughter, writer, and student currently serving her seventh year on a ten-year sentence in Ohio. She’s extremely passionate about writing, redemption, and self-improvement.

Ms. Jarvis was awarded the Fielding Dawson Prize in Memoir in the 2019 Prison Writing Contest for her touching piece entitled Poker Face describing her conflicted intimate feelings as an incarcerated mother and daughter. In early 2021, Jarvis recorded her first commentary with Prison Radio entitled, Dear State of Ohio. Two weeks later she recorded People Not Pest” and inspired four others at the Ohio Reformatory to call Prison Radio and record their experiences. Those experiences as told by Heather Koon, Elizabeth Green, Margaret Kinney and Laura Taylor along with poems by Ms. Jarvis were carefully curated into a Spotify mini-podcast episode entitled “LWOP: Lives Worthy Of Progress”.

“A life without promise, a life without purpose, a life without possibility, and for some a life without procreation…the world tells you you’re scum, you are a mistake, you are that decision, you’re nothing, you’re evil, you’re a monster, you don’t deserve a life but your entitled breath, so we the people will let you rot in prison, a slow cruel unusual death because that is what is believed to be fair. Would you accept it? Would you believe them? I would hope not.” 

Heather Jarvis

In March, she recorded Appetite for Academia , continued working on publishing her memoir and submitted writings to many platforms. Her article ‘My Mistakes Slap Me in the Face’: A Letter to my Daughter’ discusses the pain she and her daughter share from her incarceration. Ms. Jarvis says, “it’s a heavyweight to drag those you love on this journey with you.” Her daughter Adessa is now 14-years-old and will be separated from her mother until she’s 18. Ms. Jarvis’ next piece, Frozen Pancakes, discusses addiction and parenting will be published in late April on the Iowa Prison Writing Project page. Additionally, Ms. Jarvis participated in the Brooklyn Book Festival, is enrolled in a web design program offered by Ohio Central School and has submitted writing for her colleague’s projects. 

Although Ms. Jarvis has already completed seven of her ten year sentence and is technically eligible for judicial release, she was denied. Ms. Jarvis notes the strain that denial has placed on her relationship with her daughter as the hope they once shared of her release after five years, is now gone.

Ms. Jarvis reports feeling under the weather after receiving the Covid-19 vaccine but says the side effects passed after a few days. 

You may reach Ms. Jarvis by email via JPay at Heather Jarvis #W093371

She can also receive letters at: 
Heather Jarvis #W093371
Ohio Reformatory for Women
1479 Collins Ave.
Marysville, OH 43040

When mailing letters remember to include your return address in the letter if you want to be contacted by the receiver.

Prison Radio’s work is 100% donor funded, and we need your help to keep voices like Heather’s on the air. Please donate to our fundraiser today to continue to liberate his voice and many others. 

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When We Fight, We Win!

Jen Szenay
Prison Radio Staff