Christopher Blackwell

Christopher Blackwell

Christopher William Blackwell, 41, is a Washington-based award-winning journalist currently incarcerated at the Washington Corrections Center. He is serving a 45-year prison sentence for taking another human’s life during a drug robbery. He has been incarcerated since 2003.

He was raised in a mixed Native American/white family in the Hilltop Area of Tacoma, Washington. During his childhood, Hilltop was one of the roughest places to live in the country — ravaged by over-policing, gangs, violence, and drugs. His first experience of incarceration came at the age of 12. By the age of 14 he had dropped out of school and followed in the path of neighborhood role models by becoming a drug dealer. He was in and out of juvenile detention centers until the age of 22 when he was given his current prison sentence.

A lot has changed in the 28 years since his first experience with incarceration. Today he’s earned a college degree, become a leader in prisoner-led mentor programs, a restorative justice facilitator, and a voice for many behind prison walls experiencing extreme injustices on a daily basis.

Christopher and his wife, Dr. Chelsea Moore, co-founded Look 2 Justice, a grassroots organization led by criminal legal system-impacted people that works to transform the legal system by providing civic education and empowerment programs for incarcerated people and their loved ones.

Having experienced the injustices and traumas of the system — long stents in solitary confinement, abuse at the hands of staff, and retaliation — Christopher has opened up to share his and many others’ stories in hopes of educating society.

He got his start in journalism with a breaking story published in The Marshall Project in partnership with BuzzFeed that exposed what coronavirus quarantine looked like in prison after a guard tested positive where he was confined. His wife used to spend hours transcribing his stories from the prison phone. Since then, he’s published widely.

His work has been featured across the country in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Boston Globe, HuffPost, Marshall Project, Insider, Jewish Currents, BuzzFeed, The Appeal, and many more. He is currently in the process of working on a book manuscript about solitary confinement.

Christopher works closely with Empowerment Ave, a nonprofit organization that uplifts the voices of incarcerated writers in the mainstream media. This partnership has helped him connect with publishers across the country. Through Empowerment Ave, Christopher has also worked to mentor other incarcerated writers and help them publish in media outlets.

Being a voice for so many who are often not able to do so for themselves is something he finds to be an honor and quite humbling.

To contact him directly, email or follow him on Twitter @chriswblackwell. If you’d like to add him on JPay, his Washington DOC number is 813709.


Articles by Christopher Blackwell