San Quentin Prison Report

San Quentin Radio, formerly known as The San Quentin Prison Report, produces original content from and about the men who live in the San Quentin Prison.

The project is a collaboration that aims to support the stories from within--inspiring dialogue by documenting stories reported through the lens of the men who live there.  

Click "here" to meet the reporters!

"San Quentin State Prison" by Zboralski. Used under CC BY-SA 3.0. http://bit.ly/2fxIh2g

More than two-thirds of the inmates in California's state prisons are Latino or African American, according to the most recent census. More than 1,000 military veterans are admitted annually.

San Quentin Radio: Lockdown

Sep 14, 2017
Nigel Poor

A lockdown happens when correctional officers decide there is a threat to the safety and security of a prison. That might be a fight, an assault, or a race riot. So what's it like in a lockdown? 

San Quentin Radio: The bird man of San Quentin

Sep 11, 2017
"Pigeon" by CC Flickr user jans canon, resized and recropped

With San Quentin has dozens of self-help programs for inmates. But one man foregoes them all, creating his own form of therapy through feeding birds.

San Quentin Radio: The barbers of San Quentin

Aug 29, 2017

Getting a haircut can make a person feel good. For the men in San Quentin, it's no different. Some of the barbers are paid to cut hair. Others volunteer to do so. It can be a complex process, but it's important in the prison environment.

CC Flickr user Matt Straton, resized and recropped

Cleo Cloman has spent over two decades behind bars for murder. He grew up in a two parent household and had dreams of playing professional baseball.  After a rocky relationship with his father, he lost his passion for the sport and found a new pursuit: the streets. It ultimately cost him his freedom. But throughout the years of his incarceration he was able to reconnect with his father, and regain his love for baseball within the walls of San Quentin.

CC Flickr user George Grinstead, resized and recropped

 

Throughout the prison system men are dying from incurable diseases. Sometimes these inmates are granted freedom through a program called Compassionate Release.

From CC Flickr user Håkan Dahlström, resized and recropped

San Quentin, the historic prison on the edge of San Francisco Bay, confines about 3,800 inmates.

San Quentin Prison Report: A day of peace

Mar 7, 2017

Ten years ago, a race riot shook San Quentin State Prison: civilians were evacuated, and prisoners put on lockdown. When the dust settled, a group of prisoners decided to make a change. They formed the Day of Peace Committee. Through open dialogue and the Annual Day of Peace Celebration, the group offers peace as an alternative to violence.

Live storytelling from San Quentin

Jan 2, 2017
Photo by Peter Merts

 

Today we have a rare opportunity to hear from the men in the San Quentin Wednesday Night Creative Writing Class, in a live storytelling event inside the prison's education center.

Nigel Poor

 

For people who are incarcerated, it can be hard to find a space to grieve a loved one's death. There's no funeral, and no family or friends by your side to help ease the pain.  Reporter Greg Eskridge interviews fellow inmates about ways that they've learned to grieve behind bars.

Photo courtesy of Nigel Poor

 

For the past six years, inmates and staff at San Quentin State Prison have raised $40,000 for the Avon Breast Cancer Foundation by holding walkathons inside the prison gates. SQPR reporter Earlonne Woods tells us why they walk.

 

Brother's Keepers: A suicide support group for inmates

Jul 7, 2016
Under CC license from Flickr user Jitze Couperus.

Deaths by suicide in prison are rare, but when they happen they create shockwaves. Inmates need support with handling trauma, and in 2005, Dennis Pratt co-founded Brother’s Keepers, a support group that works with inmates to prevent suicide and help each other through crises.

Four thousand inmates are housed at San Quentin, a men’s prison in Marin County. Only a small handful of them identify as transgender.  Reporter Louis A. Scott has the story of how one of them learned to stand her ground.

"San Quentin State Prison sign” by Flickr user Michael LoRusso. Used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 / Resized and cropped

The STEP Project (Sex Trafficking Exploitation Prevention Project) was started by Kathleen Jackson− a long time San Quentin volunteer − and me, Louis A. Scott.

"Rainbow flag: Harvey Milk Plaza," by Flickr user torbakhopper/Used under CC license/Resized and cropped

ACT (Acting With Compassion And Truth) is a program designed to educate the San Quentin general population about the prison's LGBTQ community.

San Quentin Prison Report: Learning to code

Apr 20, 2016
Courtesy The Last Mile

What do San Quentin and Silicon Valley have in common? Geographically they’re pretty close. But otherwise…they can seem pretty far apart.

San Quentin Prison Report: The Cardman

Apr 12, 2016
By Flickr user Mohammed Alnaser / used under CC license / resized and cropped

When we're children we believe in magic but as you get older skepticism takes over. But it's a different story for people who run into The Cardman at San Quentin State Prison.

Wikimedia user Zboralski. Used under CC BY. Resized and Cropped

Mandi Hauwert is a correctional officer at San Quentin State Prison.  She's not the average correctional officer.  Hauwert is transgender.  She started working as a male officer inside the walls of San Quentin seven years ago.  Making such a transition is not easy even out in society. She tells us what it's like to transition while working inside a men's prison.

Elisabeth Fall/fallfoto.com

Monday, January 4th at 5pm, tune in to hear “Stories from San Quentin,” a special broadcast from Life of the Law featuring powerful human stories of prisoners, staff and volunteers at California's oldest prison.

San Quentin Prison Report: Surviving prison

Oct 5, 2015
flickr user: ah zut. https://flic.kr/p/aRvA3K

The first day of school or work can be nerve racking for anyone. Being a new kid on the block takes some getting used to. Now imagine a person's first day at a maximum-security prison.  How do you wrap your mind around coming from the everyday world to the violent and chaotic environment of prison life? Reporter Greg Eskridge introduces you to men who take us on their journey of survival through their first day of incarceration.

 

San Quentin Prison Report: Living with Hepatitis C

Sep 30, 2015
Under CC license from Flickr user Telmo32

An estimated 40% of people in jails and prisons are infected with Hepatitis C. Because the virus can remain dormant for decades, it's often called the silent killer. From inside San Quentin Prison, reporter Louis A. Scott spoke to fellow prisoners living with Hepatitis C.

San Quentin Prison Report: HIV behind bars

Sep 22, 2015
Flickr/Thomas Hawk


  Living with HIV is something that's not talked about often, but in prison it's even more difficult for a person to disclose their HIV status. Reporter Louis A Scott brings us this story of a man who is living with HIV while serving 27 years to life in San Quentin State Prison.

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. 

Under CC license from Flickr user Carla de Souza Campos

 Jonathan Chiu is an inmate at San Quentin State Prison. He was born in Hong Kong in 1982 and moved to the United States with is family when he was eight years old. Soon after that, Chiu discovered his love of comedy. Writing jokes helped him cope with adapting to life in a new country. And comedy continues to help him adjust to life at San Quentin, where he regularly does stand up.

Expanding minds behind bars

May 4, 2015
Prison University Project Graduates of 2013
Nigel Poor

The Prison University Project is the only on-site degree college program in California's entire prison system. It's housed at San Quentin and the tuition-free program is so popular that prisoners across the state try to transfer to San Quentin to participate. San Quentin Prison Report's Tommy Shakur Ross tells the story of what happens when inmates go back to school.

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. 

One night gone wrong

Dec 15, 2014
Nigel Poor

KALW has partnered with radio producers inside California's oldest prison to bring you the award-winning 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.

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.

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