My Little Cell

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. Sing Sing Prison, interior view. Retrieved from

My Little Cell

by Michael McKinney

My Little Cell is my personal laboratory. A laboratory is a place equipped for scientific experimentation. My Little Cell is equipped for universal learning, universal studying, and experimentation. I am my own little personal scientist. What does a scientist do? Experiments. And through experimenting, what emerges? Inventions.

That’s the same goal I set myself in My Little Cell. I use my books and all my information and put myself to work to come up with all sorts of inventions. That’s why they say “knowledge is power.” The more I know, the more I am able to create inventions for my betterment. 

My Little Cell has taught me how to put my mind to work in so many different ways. My Little Cell gives me time to think. I never before did this much thinking at one time, but My Little Cell has helped me think about my whole life. I can see all my mistakes for what they are truly worth. I can see all the bad decisions I made when I could have made much better ones. And now I can see how important it is to make right decisions. I can put so much into working my mind, body, and spirit.

My Little Cell taught me how important it is to pray each and every day, to access the power of prayer, to connect with that higher power.

My Little Cell is much bigger than the little cell it is.

Inmate, Florida State Prison, Raiford, FL

[Michael McKinney has been in and out of solitary confinement for over two decades.]