May 2017 News Briefs

New Mexico — Lawmakers passed a bill forbidding “restricted housing” — defined as 22 or more consecutive hours in a cell “without daily, meaningful and sustained human interaction” — for pregnant women in the state’s county jails and prisons and for children in juvenile lockups, New Mexico in Depth reports. The measure also would limit […]

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Aboriginal women jailed for defending themselves

By Harry C. Goodall Jr. In Western Australia, Aboriginal women are being incarcerated at a high rate for responding with violence to unreported domestic abuse at home, according to “Violence in the Lives of Incarcerated Aboriginal Mothers in Western Australia,” a study by Mandy Wilson, et al., according to Sage Journal. In 2016, 51 percent […]

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Only eight U.S. prisons allow infants with their mothers

By Charles David Henry Across the United States, there are just eight prisons that allow infants to remain with their mothers who are serving sentences. According to The Associated Press, Bedford Hills Correction Facility is a maximum security prison where 24-year-old Jennifer Dumas is serving a two-year sentence for attempted burglary along with her 6-month-old […]

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Ireland takes a look at mothers in prison

By Mike Little In Ireland there is a clear need for incarcerated mothers to maintain children and family relationships, according to a National University of Ireland report cited in a Probation Journal article. “Being found guilty of a crime is not synonymous with being a bad parent.  Also noted, there is no good reason to […]

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A nation’s wealth does not spare women from violence

By Forrest Lee Jones In eight of the world’s wealthiest countries women undergo death by violence at rates as high, or higher, than men, despite declining levels of violence overall, according to the study “A Gendered Analysis of Violent Deaths” done for the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In rich locales like Austria, […]

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History of women in the Department of Corrections on both sides of the law

By Don Chaddock Editor’s note: This is the first installment of a two-part story looking at the history of women in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) as correctional officers (CO). It is also part of the ongoing series examining the history of the department. Today, thousands of women fill the ranks of […]

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Canadian prisons offer healing for incarcerated mothers through writing

By Jesse Vasquez Crafts groups and writing sessions help incarcerated mothers in Canadian prisons cope with separation and understand their life experiences, according to research by Magali Henry, a Masters student at Concordia University Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Nine incarcerated mothers in a weaving class shared their experiences with Henry for the study. “The findings of […]

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Mom’s name in a tattoo

By Richard “Bonaru” Richardson When I first came to prison, I didn’t know what to expect. And, like many people who have never been behind these walls, I believed everything I heard or saw on TV. I believed prisons were filled with nothing but violent and vindictive predators. By spending time in more than 10 […]

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Inadequate medical treatment for female inmates

By Rahsaan Thomas Medical treatment is inadequate for incarcerated women in California jails, the American Civil Liberties Union of California reports. Jails also fail to provide adequate protection against rape, especially for transgender people, the report added. Among the problems the January 2016 report lists are: Women forced to submit to guard-administered pregnancy tests. Abortions […]

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A leader, athlete and friend says goodbye to Kid CAT

By John Lam Cleo Cloman III is a leader, an athlete, and a friend to many in San Quentin. He is also one of several Kid CAT members who were recently found suitable for parole under SB 261, a law that gives special consideration to youthful offenders. “It doesn’t surprise me that Cleo received a […]

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Mothers face custody and employment challenges upon their re-entry

Incarcerated mothers face challenges re-entering society, especially regaining custody of their children and finding employment. Upon their release, mothers are more likely to have their parental rights terminated because of their incarceration, according to a 2016 Rutgers University academic paper by Janet Garcia, of the School of Criminal Justice.  According to the paper, part of […]

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How parents talk can hinder child development

The way parents communicate with their children may hinder their kids from developing healthy self-esteem, emotions and behavior, according to a child behavior author. “The problem is that at its core, this way of speaking is all about control. We use it to tell our kids what we want them to say (‘Say sorry!’)…what we […]

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Prison therapeutic program makes use of the arts

By Forrest Lee Jones For more than three decades, Clean Break, an organization based in London, England, has provided a therapeutic program for women prisoners within the United Kingdom that helps them share their stories of incarceration through the arts. “Our training and education program helps participants to develop personal, social, professional and creative skills […]

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Italy’s rehabilitation method: public interaction

By Wayne Boatwright Italian-style rehabilitation includes public interaction with prisoners to change attitudes about the incarcerated.  And that’s served up with risotto and amuse-bouche dishes of cheese mousse with mustard, curry and dill, according to a March 2016 article in The New York Times. Italy is facing the same challenges as California with prison over-crowding. […]

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Happy Mother’s Day

MOM. Me and my wife Chris just wanted to say Happy Mother’s Day and we love you dearly. Jimbo & Chris Kale Mother’s Day is a special day because it’s a day to thank your mom for her struggle to bring you up right. I love my mom, Ida because she put up with so […]

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Factores que incrementan o disminuyen las posibilidades en la “tabla”

Por Wayne Boatwright Recientes cambios legales y en materia de regulación, han incrementado las posibilidades  de los presos, cumpliendo una sentencia de vida, a obtener su libertad condicional. El período de “duros con el crimen” (tough on crime) implementado en California en décadas pasadas, se podría comparar con un juego de fútbol. En este deporte […]

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Más vivir y menos sobrevivir: perdonar y no castigar Parte 3

Por Lucía de la Fuente La justicia restaurativa no pone énfasis en las riquezas de la persona, el color de su piel, la cultura y costumbre de donde viene, el nivel educativo que posee, ni el trabajo que desempeña; sino que se enfoca en resarcir las relaciones humanas que se han dañado o roto, como […]

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Construction program graduates 15 women inmates

By Lt. Michael Dunn The Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) and the Inmate Ward Labor (IWL) successfully graduated 15 inmates in the offender pre-apprenticeship program. The program consisted of a 30-week classroom component along with 40-hours a week of on-the-job construction training. Eligible inmates must have a high school diploma, or be in the process […]

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Former prisoners return for TRUST graduation to help re-entry

By Juan Haines Three highly acclaimed self-help programs at San Quentin Prison held a graduation for more than 80 inmates on March 30. Dozens of San Francisco Bay Area volunteers came to the prison’s Protestant Chapel to witness the event along with formerly incarcerated men who once participated in the same programs. “It feels good […]

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Firefighters receive more than praise from local ministry

By Joe Garcia Female inmates working at a Malibu fire camp annually receive donated gift bags from a local prison ministry. Members of Emmanuel Presbyterian Church in Thousand Oaks collect cosmetic and hygiene items, candy, snacks, and other available treats and necessities for the women year-round, according to a Thousand Oaks Acorn article by Becca […]

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Beliefs and rationale challenge when catastrophe hits

By Juan Haines In a fictionalized future world, the worst possible global scenario occurs (nuclear annihilation). Robert Mailer Anderson brings three characters on stage, struggling to rationalize their beliefs in individuality and collective humanity. An unassuming coffeehouse, Café Dante, is the setting for Anderson’s play, The Death of Teddy Ballgame (2016). This setting works because […]

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What is your mother’s most interesting characteristic?

By Angelo Falcone In the United States, Mother’s Day is always on the second Sunday of May, but in countries like Mexico, Mother’s Day is always on May 10, regardless of the day of the week. The diversity of the men in blue and their deep love for the women who raised them means that […]

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Historian on the Yard

By Casey Burke Mainline prisoners have been baffled with the unknown identity of young women strolling around in their mist the past few months. Is she a cop, a counselor, a nurse, or what? Has been asked silently by all. The News was able to track down this elusive mystery person to reveal her identity […]

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$20 bill – still another struggle for Harriet Tubman

By Rahsaan Thomas Donald Trump’s election raises questions as to whether Harriet Tubman’s face will grace the new $20 bill, the Philadelphia Tribune reports. After listening to the voices of thousands of Americans, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew decided last year to replace the images of Andrew Jackson, who owned slaves, with Harriet Tubman, […]

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U.S. has 5 percent of the world’s women but 30 percent of its female inmates

By Kevin D. Sawyer Female prison populations have been increasing rapidly in past decades. Explanations, according to several studies, often overlook are many of the factors that contribute to this increase, rendering women’s sagas invisible. Numbers produced by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics show that since 2010 the women corrections population […]

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Incarcerated mothers can reduce children’s risky behaviors with communication

By Charles David Henry Many incarcerated mothers can help prevent risky behavior in their adolescent children by how they communicate with them. Separation may be linked to higher levels of anxiety and depression, a study published by the Johns Hopkins University Press revealed.  The U.S. ranks first in the world in the incarceration of women.  […]

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Graced Out Youth basketball tournament begins

By Larry White As 30 Black men gathered at half-court on March 25, the noise level in the San Quentin Prison gym dropped. Dwight Kennedy discussed the rules for the basketball game about to begin, including: the first team to score 11 points wins. Then the men crowded around, placed their hands on the shoulder […]

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The young lead the old in Asian championship games

By Timothy Young In a San Quentin basketball tournament where the youth were team captains, Team Charlie beat Team Wilson, 30-23. Young men in the Youth Offender Program go to lower-security prisons to serve their time under the mentorship of older men who are group facilitators and leaders. The Asian and Islander YOP Championship Basketball […]

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Rick Barry’s free-throw style didn’t look cool…it just worked

By Rahsaan Thomas If you saw a man shooting free throws differently than everybody else — like by holding the ball below his waist, crouching down slightly and launching it underhanded or shooting the ball one-handed—you might think they looked weird. However, being weirdly different is how one of the best NBA shooters of all […]

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San Quentin Kings starts off season with a win

By Marcus Henderson In the season opener, the San Quentin Kings senior basketball team mounted a spectacular comeback to defeat the visiting Bitterman in overtime, 76-73. The Kings overcame a 16-point deficit with the solid play of Kings’ new recruits Damon Cooke, center, and Julio Saca, guard. Cooke hit clutch free-throws in the final minutes […]

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Teamwork helps 72-year-old complete six-mile race

By Rahsaan Thomas More than two dozen members of San Quentin’s running club ran 24 laps around the prison yard in a six-mile race, while a 72-year-old runner showed how coming in last could feel like coming in first. Steve Wilson, 72, was the last runner on the track. As he ran the final mile […]

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Code.7370 Graduation Day at SQ

By Juan Haines Justin Meskan spent the last seven years behind bars, but in August he is scheduled to get another chance at putting his life back on track, with the assistance of an innovative computer programming class taught at San Quentin State Prison. Speaking on the occasion of Code.7370’s graduation day, March 23, Meskan, […]

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William J. Drummond receives prestigious journalism award

By Kevin D. Sawyer Associate Editor The University of California, Berkeley awarded Professor William J. Drummond, an adviser to San Quentin News, the prestigious Leon A. Henkin Citation for Distinguished Service in February for his work as a journalist and academic. In a speech, Edward Wasserman, the dean of the Graduate School of Journalism, cited […]

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César Chávez: símbolo del activismo y la justicia

Por Marco Villa y Taré Beltranchuc César Estrada Chávez, trabajador agrícola mexicano-americano, líder sindical y activista de derechos civiles nació, el 31 de marzo de 1927, en Yuma Arizona. Hijo de Juana Estrada y Librado Chávez, Cesar Chávez creció con sus dos hermanos Richard y Librado y sus dos hermanas Rita y Vicki, en una […]

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Titans of CNC Academy offers marketable skills to prisoners

Wearing a T-shirt with Titans of CNC on its front and, in large bold letters, Made in the USA on the back, Titan Gilroy says he is on a quest to “bring jobs back to America. Gilroy’s quest began by connecting with his spirituality while sitting in solitude, in prison. At 18, Gilroy was a […]

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April 2017 News Briefs

Vermont — Disability Rights Vermont filed a lawsuit in federal court in February, alleging that some state prisons are holding inmates in segregation even when it puts the inmate in danger. The lawsuit claims a man is in solitary confinement despite extensive and significant histories of self-harming behavior, particularly when put in segregation, reports Elizabeth […]

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Unconstitutional policing conducted by US police departments

By Charles David Henry The country is engaged in a critically important conversation about community-police relations, according to a U.S. Department of Justice report. Some of the more than 18,000 police departments across the United States are engaging in unconstitutional policing, according to the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Pattern and Practice Police Reform […]

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FDA impounds approximately 1000 vials of Texas execution drugs

State’s supply runs out after nine executions, it sues to have feds release impounded drugs The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has detained a shipment of approximately 1,000 vials of drugs intended for executions in Texas. After waiting for nearly a year and a half, Texas officials demanded an end to the delays, filing […]

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Prisoners strike to end ‘prison slavery’

By David Le Inmates at dozens of prisons across the county were on strike calling for reform to end the practice of slavery in prison, The Intercept reported. “There are probably 20,000 prisoners on strike right now, at least, which is the biggest prison strike in history, but the information is really sketchy and spotty,” […]

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Jamie Lindsey establishes All Faith Religious Grounds

By Wesley Eisiminger A new religious site for Odinists, called the All Faith Religious Grounds, is now open at San Quentin. Jamie Lindsey said he is a well-known and outspoken spokesman for the Odinists, known by both the prisoners and correctional officers. When Lindsey first arrived at San Quentin in March 2013, there were no […]

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Governor Brown pardons more than 850 since taking office

By Salvador Solorio Gov. Jerry Brown has given more than 850 pardons since 2011. This trend contrasts with the three prior governors, who granted a total of 28 pardons, reported Laurel Rosenhall of CAL Matters. Clemency applications sent to the governor describe youth indiscretions, lives of poverty, drug addiction, drug deals, accidental shootings and drunken […]

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California’s first Latino AG leads fight against presidential policies

By David Eugene Archer Sr. California Gov. Jerry Brown has appointed Congressman Xavier Becerra to be the new California attorney general, reported The Guardian. Becerra is leading the state’s court battles with President Donald Trump over climate change, immigration and more, the newspaper story reported. Becerra is a 24-year veteran of Congress. He graduated from […]

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Over $180 billion a year spent on mass incarceration

Half the money spent on running the correctional system goes to pay staff By Charles David Henry The system of mass incarceration costs the government and families at least $182 billion every year, according to a report by the Prison Policy Institute. “Our goal with this report is to give a hint as to how […]

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Trump’s victory means private prison growth

By Salvador Solorio Donald Trump’s presidential victory has breathed new life into the for-profit prison industry. After the Department of Justice announced phasing out privately run jails in August, shares in CoreCivic, formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), and GEO Group dropped, but the day after the election CoreCivic traded as much as […]

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President’s deportation policy could increase prison population

America’s prison population is likely to rise for the first time in nearly a decade if President Donald Trump keeps his promise to detain and deport millions of immigrants, The Associated Press reports. Such a policy would benefit private for-profit prison companies, the story added. After Trump commented on immigrantion policies, their stock prices jumped, […]

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