Author Archives: Charles David Henry

Looking back on 42 years of service at San Quentin

By Charles David Henry In June 1975, Donald Graham left the California Department of Corrections’ training academy after two weeks and took his first job assignment at San Quentin State Prison. An Air Force veteran with college degrees in computer science and mathematics from California State University at Sonoma, Graham came to work for the […]

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Christmas comes early with VGSQ’s Toys for Tots

By Charles David Henry The 2016 San Quentin’s Toys for Tots program came earlier this year. On Dec. 16 chairman Gary Cooper and members of the Veterans Group of San Quentin (VGSQ) decorated the Christmas tree in the main visiting room and received nearly 400 gifts from the United States Marine Corps Recruitment Center in […]

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Four states lead U.S. prison population shrinkage

By Charles David Henry Prison populations have been steadily declining as a result of criminal justice strategic reforms. This spectrum of change has been most notable in several states such as New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and California. America still continues to maintain its distinction as the world leader in its use of incarceration. […]

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Joint venture provides opportunity for SQ

By Charles David Henry A new opportunity for paying jobs for San Quentin inmates has been approved by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The job source is a joint venture operated by a company calling itself “Big Dawg” Manufacturing, LLC. The company manufactures refrigeration products. The company will choose from a pool of inmates […]

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Racial disparities persist when Black judges’ rulings are appealed

By Charles David Henry Racial disparities appear to persist in the American legal system, despite the attempts to make the judiciary more reflective of the general population, a Harvard study reports. The 2015 study examined how higher-court judges evaluated opinions written by approximately 1,500 federal district minority judges between 2000 and 2012. The study shows […]

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California’s crime rate up after two-year decrease

By Charles David Henry After two years of decreases, the murder rate in California rose from 4.4 to 4.8 per 100,000 in 2015. There were 1,861 homicides in a year. This number represents a 9.7 percent increase from the 1,697 homicides in 2014. This still is a 25.1 percent decrease from 2,483 reported in 2006, […]

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Voters to Decide on Two Opposing Death Penalty Measures in November

By Charles David Henry California voters will decide again in November what to do with the death penalty. Two opposing initiatives with strong political and social ramifications will be on the ballot to abolish capital punishment or speed up executions. Details of the measures are listed in an Aug. 12 story by politifact.com. Proposition 62 […]

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California’s Death Row Population Tops All Of Western Hemisphere

By Charles David Henry California is “home to the largest Death Row population in the Western Hemisphere,” according to a recent PolitiFact press release. According to public data, California’s Death Row has nearly 750 individuals condemned to die. That’s nearly twice as many as the next closest state, Florida at 388. UC Berkeley law professor Frank […]

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Sitting in the Fire With the New Graduates of VOEG

By Charles David Henry The song “Lean on Me” set the tone for the 2016 graduating class of San Quentin’s Victim Offender Education Group program. Executive Director Billie Mizell and Michael Adams harmonized the 1980s classic oldie by Bill Withers before nearly 125 people in the Protestant Chapel. Mizell said she wanted the audience to […]

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Robert E. Burton Adult School Awards Diplomas and Vocational Certificates

By Charles David Henry “Progress has a beginning, but it has no ending” best describes the Robert E. Burton Adult School 2016 Graduation Commencements. During this summer’s ceremony more than 120 inspired, incarcerated men at San Quentin finally reveled in their own personal accomplishments and triumphs. “Don’t Just Dream Inspire, Don’t Just Imagine Create, Don’t […]

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