Living on LOP

Living on Loss of Privilege: What We Learned in Prison

In many posts on social media, comparisons have been drawn between the experience of Coronavirus lockdowns and being in prison. Living on LOP: What We Learned in Prison is a video series initiated by formerly incarcerated artists Patrick Bates and Cozine Welch that reflects on this comparison. Living on LOP, a production of Documenting Prison Education and Arts, features the stories of formerly incarcerated people who share the lessons they have learned in prison that can now help us all adjust to life during the pandemic.

As the violent crisis of oppression and control in the United States reaches the point of revolution in response to the murder of George Floyd, now more than ever is the time to elevate the voices of those who have been most impacted by purposeful systemic oppression in our society. We hope that these videos offer a sense of grounding, wisdom and hope as we all look forward to the construction of a truly just world.

Living on LOP is a twelve-part web series that premiered June 12, 2020 and ran through Oct. 22, 2020. Below the episodes, find two video conversations with the Living on L.O.P. production team.

Episode 12 – Pat Bates – Never Let Anything Stop You

In our season finale we have the unstoppable Patrick Bates who share his story of how was able to use his unbreakable mentality and perseverance to come out of prison and put his mark on the world. He shares the important and crucial lesson of never letting anything stop us from getting what we want and to overcome any obstacle in our way. Published Oct. 22, 2020.

Episode 11: Joseph Johnson – Acceptance

In this episode we have the calm and collected Joseph Johnson who share his story of how he had to master the art of acceptance during prison in order to help him move forward in life in a positive direction as well as cope with tough times and disappointment. Published Oct. 2, 2020.

Episode 10: Mario Bueno – Being Centered

In this episode we have the inquisitive Mario Bueno who share his story of how he realized the power of being centered during his time in prison. He shares valuable techniques he used so that we all can become more centered and balanced to live better lives. Published Sept. 18, 2020.

Episode 9: Cozine Welch – Necessity is the Spark of Invention

In this episode we have the brilliant and expressive Cozine Welch who tells us how his need to become a better writer in prison forced him to create new and innovative methods of learning poetry and becoming a better writer and how we can all use our desire to achieve what we want no matter what. Published Sept. 5, 2020.

Episode 8: Juan Juan Willis – Venting

In this episode we have the poetic and charismatic Juan Juan Willis who talks about how he used music while in prison to vent and relieve stress and frustration. He discusses the importance of venting and transmuting negative energy into something positive and productive with the use of positive outlets and how we can all do the same today. Published August 14, 2020.

Episode 7: Eladio Niño – Keeping the Right People in our Lives

In this episode we have the determined and brave Eladio Niño who shares the importance of associating with the right people and how doing so while in prison helped him manifest the life that he always wanted. Published July 26, 2020.

Episode 6: Rick Speck – Time Management

In this episode we have the disciplined and focused Rick Speck who shares how he used time management tools while in prison to help him accomplish his goals and eventually achieve the success that he aimed for during and after prison. Published July 17, 2020.

Episode 5: Romando Valeroso – Structure

In this episode we have the disciplined and virtuous Romando Valeroso who talks about how he was able to implement structure into his life while in prison through prayer which allowed him to cope with incarceration. This structure ended up giving him peace, calm, and clarity and he shares how we can all implement a little more structure in our own lives to reap similar benefits. Published June 10, 2020.

Episode 4: Jose Burgos – Career Planning

In this episode we have the determined and zealous Jose Burgos, who tells his story of how he used his isolation and solitude while in prison to start building the skills required to launch his career once he got out. Published July 3, 2020.

Episode 3: Eric Burr – Purpose

In this episode we have the tasteful and bold Eric Burr, a master chef and passionate gardener, who tells his story of how he used his isolation and solitude while in prison to help him find his life purpose. Published June 26, 2020.

Episode 2: Artaysia Mallishman – Self Care

In this episode we have the amazing and beautiful Artaysia Mallisham, who talks about the importance of self care, especially during isolation. With a very personal and touching story as well as numerous action steps everyone can take right now, Artaysia articulates her thoughts and approach to the topic. Published June 19, 2020.

Episode 1: Jose Rivera – Art

In this episode we have the amazing and talented Jose Rivera. Jose is currently the owner of his own clothing brand and store, Detroit Forever 313 LLC. He shares his lessons about how finding and using art while in prison helped him channel his energy to create immense value for the world as well as bring peace and meaning to his own life. Published June 12, 2020.

Production Team

  • Patrick Bates — Producer and Series Host
  • Ashley Lucas — Producer
  • Cozine Welch — Producer
  • Ali Friedman — Associate Producer
  • Sriram Papolu — Director, Cinematographer, and Editor
  • Adam Kouraimi — Production Assistant

A Conversation with the Living on L.O.P. Team

A conversation with the Living on L.O.P. team which includes Ashley Lucas, Patrick Bates, Cozine Welch, Alexandra Friedman, Sriram Papolu, and Adam Kouraimi (not present). The team discusses their reasons for starting the project as well as their creative process.

“Living on Loss of Privileges: What We Learned in Prison” — Panel Discussion with the Production Team (Oct. 22, 2020)

Panel discussion with the Living on L.O.P. production team, moderated by Professor Heather Ann Thompson, recorded on Oct. 22, 2020.


The Prison Creative Arts Project (PCAP) brings those impacted by the justice system and the University of Michigan community into artistic collaboration for mutual learning and growth.
A Brighter Way is a Michigan-based nonprofit that assists formerly incarcerated individuals through the reentry process by providing mentoring, employment skills, and access to community resources.