Last week, an older East Oakland couple came home to find that their home had been ripped apart. The bed was knocked over, drawers were wide open, and expensive technology and jewelry with sentimental value were gone. Their back window was smashed and their small dog was terrified.
California has been in an ongoing struggle trying to figure out how to deal with overcrowding in prisons. The problems extend to the Division of Juvenile Justice, where the state’s most serious young offenders are held. For youth from Alameda County, being sent to one of the DJJ facilities is one of the worst alternatives. They’re spread out all over the state, which means it can be hard to keep family connections, and complaints of abuse and unsafe conditions have dogged the system for more than a decade.
Marcus Williams went to prison when he was 17 years old. It was 1984: "Miami Vice" and "The Cosby Show" were the hottest things on TV. Run DMC and Kurtis Blow were the reigning kings of hip hop.
After 29 years, Marcus no longer lives in prison; he was released from San Quentin last spring. He's one of about 24,000 inmates who were released on parole from California prisons in the past year. Marcus spoke with KALW's Holly Kernan about how he's adjusting to life outside prison.
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.
Marcus Williams went to prison when he was just 17 years old. It was 1984, and “Miami Vice” and “The Cosby Show” were the hottest things on television. Run DMC, Houdini and Kurtis Blow were the kings of hip hop.
29 years later, Marcus is about to be released on parole. He’s matured and learned a lot since he first entered prison -- but even after all this time he says there are a few things he is still working on.