Michele Scott headshot.

Michele Scott

Essayist, Poet

2024 Fellow


Michele Scott (she/her) is an author, essayist, and prison reform advocate. Scott was born in Arcadia, California. She served thirty years on a sentence of life without the possibility of parole at Central California Women’s Facility, the world’s largest women’s prison, until she was granted a rare Governor’s commutation in 2021.

Scott’s writing focuses on witness and advocacy as exemplified in her essays “What It’s Like to be Trapped in a Women’s Prison during a Pandemic” published by Elle magazine and the op-ed “Why I Fight to End Life Without Parole” published by Knock Los Angeles. Scott’s essay “Doing Whatever it Takes to Make a Prison Garden” was selected for Best American Nonrequired Reading 2016.

Her writing is threaded with themes of empowerment that underscores the journey from confinement to freedom including personal transformation. Her hope is to empower the formerly incarcerated through sharing her experiences.

Scott lives in Oakland, California where she continues to advocate for those who were told they would die in prison.