San Quentin

A Visit to San Quentin Museum

Aug 11, 2015


They had me at homemade shiv wall. “Shiv” is a slang term for an improvised weapon. I heard the San Quentin Museum has enough shivs to make an entire display and I want to see them all.

San Quentin Prison Report: Back to prison

Jun 23, 2015
Nigel Poor

 

Local prison San Quentin combats recidivism with programs to help people adapt back into society. One of those projects is San Quentin Prison Report, a program training those who are incarcerated to produce stories from the inside.

After spending 25 years in prison for a first degree murder, Jessy Reed was finally preparing to be released. He vowed to never return to prison and looked forward to starting over with a new life on the outside. Once Reed was free, life on the outside became a series of challenges, piling up like one after the other.

 

I let so many people down who who who were looking up to me and just and just and just um expecting more of me you know I let down and hurt and and and that was devastating. --Jessy Reed

SQPR: When loyalty is misguided

Jun 3, 2015
Nigel Poor

Though being in a gang often means violence, it also offers a sense of belonging. Gang loyalty can end tragically when members end up betrayed by the very same people they sought to impress. This is the story of three men who misplaced their loyalty -- and in each case ended up with life sentences.

Click the audio player above to hear the entire story. 

Simron Gill

 

When it comes to locking up young people, the US leads the industrialized world. And though youth incarceration rates have been declining for the last two decades, adult prisons still contain many inmates who entered the system as juveniles with life sentences. These prisoners have grown up and lived their entire adult lives behind bars.

Daily news roundup for Tuesday, May 26, 2015

May 26, 2015
Leah Millis / San Francisco Chronicle

Here’s what’s happening in the Bay Area, as curated by KALW news:

A few arrests in Oakland protests over limit on nighttime marches // SF Gate

For a second consecutive night, protesters took to the streets of Oakland on Sunday to challenge Mayor Libby Schaaf’s policy of cracking down on unlawful nighttime marches in an effort to prevent protest-related violence and vandalism.

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.

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. 

Committed to Turning His Life Around

Nov 17, 2014

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.

When we think of prison, most of us don’t think of it as a place where people go to get an education or to learn how to express themselves. But the arts have been part of the California prison system since 1977. Even though state funding for these programs was completely cut in 2003, nonprofits have kept some of the programs alive. One of those programs is Brothers in Pen--a creative writing class for San Quentin inmates, taught by Zoe Mullery.

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.

Living with AIDS behind prison walls

May 5, 2014

 


An inmate learns about self through caring for others

May 5, 2014
Nigel Poor

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.

Sandy Rashid Lockhard is 35 years old. In 2002, he robbed four men at gunpoint outside of a Walmart store in Lancaster, CA. He was arrested, convicted, and sentenced to 24 years in state prison.

Prison time hasn’t been easy. He has gotten in trouble for refusing a cellmate, contraband, cell fighting, refusing a direct order, and being involved in a prison riot. Despite that, in 2009, he was entrusted with an extraordinary responsibility.

Kyung Jin Lee / KALW

On a breezy summer day at San Quentin State Prison, inmate Paul Stauffer reads his writing to a live audience.

“My shoulders brush the sides of the wall and bunk as I pace the nine feet of my cell, between the sink and door. A scream echoed silently from my tortured soul, as hopeless dreams of a once meaningful life, floated endlessly across my mind…” he reads.

Creative self expression is a proven force for change in prisons. Inmates in this creative writing class, and classes like it, are less likely to commit crimes when they’re released.

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

A combat veteran and a veteran of the streets deal with PTSD

Nov 11, 2013
Nigel Poor

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.

Many veterans suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder --  a type of anxiety disorder that can occur after you have seen or experienced a traumatic event. About 30% of Iraq and Afghanistan vets treated by the VA are diagnosed with PTSD, but PTSD is not just a veterans’ issue. Today we’ll hear from a former marine who survived the trauma of military warfare and a man who survived the trauma and violence that came with growing up in San Francisco’s inner city. Both men are serving time at San Quentin State Prison. Even though they come from different backgrounds, their experiences with PTSD are similar.

San Quentin Radio Project: When victims and offenders talk

Oct 7, 2013
Flickr user John Weiss

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.

When an offender commits a crime, its repercussions impact not only the victim and the perpetrator, but families, friends, and whole communities.

Restorative justice is an approach that seeks to heal the many dimensions of harm that a crime creates. One way of achieving this is through a practice known as victim-offender dialogue.

Forging a path from San Quentin to Silicon Valley

Sep 17, 2013
http://thelastmile.org/

 

Today is day 24 of the prison hunger strike in California. It started off with thousands of prisoners refusing meals, protesting the conditions in the Security Housing Unit, or what’s also been called solitary confinement. The number of strikers has now come down to several hundred, and last week one of them, inmate Billy Sell, died in the SHU at Corcoran State Prison. He had been there for 24 years. The CDCR has issued a statement that his death a suicide, but mediators are calling for an independent investigation to see if he had received proper care during his hunger strike.

Peter Merts

Earlier this month, students in Zoe Mullery’s creative writing class for San Quentin inmates held a reading of their work at the prison. The public was invited to the reading, and one of the audience members asked the inmates if they thought going to prison was the only way they could have changed their lives for the better.

courtesy of lifeaftermurder.com

Between 2000 and 2009, 57,000 men and women convicted of murder were released from state and federal prison.

By the time convicted murderers are released, they’ve usually served decades behind bars; they’re a generation older than when they went to prison. When they come out, they often fade from view – no sensational headlines, no fanfare.  They make their way on the outside in a world that’s can be very different from the one they left.

How can someone who murders re-enter society?

Dec 26, 2012

A conversation with Nancy Mullane, author of Life After Murder: Five Men in Search of Redemption.  We’ll also speak with Jesse Reed, one of the men she profiles in her book.  The California state parole board only approved parole for 10 percent of murder cases last year.  Governor Jerry Brown then approved 80% of those.  So what does it take to be released?  And how should those who have killed re-integrate in society?  It’s Your Call with Holly Kernan, and you.

Guests:

What ending the death penalty means for inmates

Oct 30, 2012

California Proposition 34, on the ballot this November, would abolish the death penalty and replace it with life without the possibility of parole. The Attorney Donald Heller originally wrote the ballot measure that reinstated the death penalty in California in 1978. Heller now supports Proposition 34.  

San Quentin inmate Troy Williams interviewed Heller by phone about his change of heart.

In 1851, the government of the new state of California legalized executions. But it wasn’t until 1891 that the state legislature required all executions take place within the walls of one of the state’s prisons.

The state’s first legal execution by hanging took place March 3, 1893 at San Quentin State Prison. Sixty-year-old José Gabriel was convicted and sentenced to death for killing a farming couple near San Diego.

In California, there are hundreds if not thousands of people practicing criminal law, though they’ve never passed a bar exam. They don’t wear suits. They don’t have secretaries. And they can’t bill for their time. They’re called Jailhouse Lawyers. They’re inmates who pursue the equivalent of a lawyer’s education and who work as lawyers from within prison walls.

California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation

Richard Gilliam is incarcerated at the California Men's Colony (CMC).

August 8, 2012

On the next Your Call, we’ll have a conversation with Nancy Mullane, author of Life After Murder: Five Men in Search of Redemption.  We’ll also speak with Jesse Reed, one of the men she profiles in her book.  The California state parole board only approved parole for 10 percent of murder cases last year.  Governor Jerry Brown then approved 80% of those.  So what does it take to be released?  And how should those who have killed re-integrate in society? Join us at 10 or email feedback@yourcallradio.org.  It’s Your Call with Holly Kern

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Richard Gilliam is incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison.

June 15, 2012

California corrections Officials Place Policy Decisions Over Inmate Safety

Rick Nahmias

Golden States of Grace: Documentary photographer Rick Nahmias spent more than three years researching, photographing, and taking oral histories of 11 California faith communities outside the religious mainstream - including transgender sex workers in San Francisco's Tenderloin who worship Santa Muerte, Zen Buddhist San Quentin inmates, and an AIDS ashram in West Hollywood.

On today's Your Call we’ll talk about what’s changing in California’s prison system.  The Occupy Movement drew attention to the prison industrial complex this week with a day of action called “Occupy the Prisons.”  They are calling for an end to inhumane conditions for people behind bars.  Meanwhile, the realignment process is underway in California-- where low-level offenders are being moved from prisons to county jails.  Is this the best way to solve prison over-crowding?

Golden States of Grace: Documentary photographer Rick Nahmias spent more than three years researching, photographing, and taking oral histories of 11 "marginal" California faith communities outside the religious mainstream - including transgender sex workers in San Francisco's Tenderloin who worship Santa Muerte, Zen Buddhist San Quentin inmates, and an AIDS ashram in West Hollywood.