Author Archives: Arnulfo T. Garcia

A journey to freedom filled with pain and survival

By Arnulfo T. Garcia After serving nearly 30 years behind bars, Duane Holt was a changed man who convinced a parole board that he was no longer a danger to public safety. Holt’s journey to freedom was not easy. He was diagnosed with cancer in January. The possibility of dying in prison was a reality […]

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Prisoners save correctional officer’s life

By Arnulfo T. Garcia A man is choking on a piece of meat in his throat. Three onlookers see him in distress, and they come to his rescue. What makes this scenario unusual is that the stricken man was a San Quentin correctional officer, and the rescuers were three prisoners, each serving life terms for […]

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Easter Day Banquet Celebration at SQ

By Arnulfo Garcia and Charles David Henry San Quentin News Staff The doors of the Catholic Chapel were swung open to approximately 250 invited guests on Sunday, April 3. They came to dine, fellowship and listen to the smooth sounds of jazz pianist Matthew Lee Jaspar, a quartet of Spanish musicians and songs by Michael […]

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Editor-in-Chief Steps Aside to Pursue Other Dreams

By Arnulfo T. Garcia Executive Editor In 2011 I was asked to step into the shoes of Editor-in-Chief; a job that I knew was going to be difficult, but former Editor-in-Chief Michael Harris had confidence that I could do the job. Until then, I had run from all my problems, afraid to face the unknown. […]

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America’s Prisons Need To Focus On Healing, Education and Training

By Arnulfo T. Garcia Editor-in-Chief Prison is designed to break you, not to make you better. Our prison system takes people who have had traumatic lives and puts them in circumstances that expose them to even more trauma—like living in a cage with a stranger or being subjected to riots or having live ammunition fired […]

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Departing C.O. Plagman Aimed to Gain The Respect of Inmates

By Arnulfo Garcia Editor-in-Chief When an inmate first comes into the prison system, the demeanor of correctional officials generally gives him an indication of what prison is going to be like. Rarely is that demeanor upbeat or positive. Correctional Officer E. Plagman is one of those rare people with a different outlook. His is the […]

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Reaching Beyond the Future and Walls of San Quentin

By Arnulfo T. Garcia Editor-in-Chief As we reflect upon a year’s worth of hard work, the writers of San Quentin News renew their commitment to the state’s prison population. We recognize that finding a solution to California’s reliance on mass incarceration is a mission that both our staff and readers must take seriously. The vision […]

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Barrios Unidos Visits Newsroom

By Arnulfo T. Garcia Editor-in-Chief The founder and executive director of Barrios Unido, Daniel “Nane” Alejandrez, came to San Quentin on July 19 to discuss his commitment to the community, prison and county jail reform, and the California criminal justice system. Alejandrez’s life story is no different from that than many men of color who […]

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Board Hearings and the Truth Behind Closed Doors

By Arnulfo T. Garcia Editor-in-Chief As a journalist, when I do a story profile on an inmate at San Quentin, I first look for individuals who demonstrate a willingness to change. Has he come to terms with and does he understand why he committed his crime? From sitting in circles with men, I have found that […]

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San Quentin News ‘Moves Forward’

By Arnulfo T. Garcia Editor-in-Chief In 2008 Warden Robert Ayers removed San Quentin News from the shelf, dusted it off and put the responsibility of managing the newspaper in the hands of a group of inmates advised by retired professional journalists. In our previous editorial, Steve McNamara wrote about the history of SQ News and […]

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