California Prisons

William Bennett

A note to our readers: this is part 3 of our series on reentry. The names of formerly incarcerated men and their families in this story have been changed to protect their identities.

It’s a long drive from Oakland to the Deuel Vocational Institution, a prison in Tracy, California. For Brianna Bennett, growing up, that meant she rarely saw her father, William. He had never picked her up from school or gone with her to a movie. In fact, they had never stepped outside of the prison gates together.

Handshakes have a lot to say

Feb 3, 2015
Nigel Poor

When volunteering at a prison there are many rules to follow: there are dress codes, restrictions on what can be brought in and out, and physical contact between volunteers and inmates is strictly forbidden.

Turning the page after a life sentence

Jan 13, 2015
Nigel Poor

KALW has partnered with the award-winning San Quentin Prison Report, bringing you stories told behind prison walls by inmate reporters. 

Today we're going to get to know one of those reporters: Greg Eskridge. 

The high cost of phone calls for inmates

Oct 16, 2014
Creative Commons

When most of us talk on the phone we don’t think much about the cost—it’s pennies. If we don’t like a phone company or can’t afford a plan, it’s pretty easy to ditch the one we have and get a new one. Talk is cheap, for most of us. But for the 80,000 people in California’s county jails, a phone call can cost more than $1 a minute.

Coming to America

Sep 15, 2014
Under CC license from Flickr user Ross Pollack

KALW has partnered with radio producers inside California's oldest prison to bring you the San Quentin Prison Report, a series of stories focusing on the experiences of these men, written and produced by those living inside the prison's walls.

Teaching Peace to San Quentin Prisoners

Feb 4, 2014

Host Joseph Pace explores the GRIP program at San Quentin (Guiding Rage into Power), which uses mediation and self awareness training to help prisoners create a new path towards peace and power. Guests are Jacques Verduin, founder of GRIP, along with a former San Quentin prisoner and a victim of violent crime.

Produced by Victoria Thorp