Author Archives: Emile Deweaver

Delivering a message of hope for thousands with HIV

By Emile DeWeaver One of the country’s major problems is that 161,000 people in the United States have HIV but don’t know it, Andrew Reynolds told a gathering at San Quentin’s World AIDS Day on Dec. 1 An expert in HIV prevention, Reynolds brought a message of hope: Although there are 50,000 new infections a […]

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California legalizes recreational use of marijuana for adults

By Emile DeWeaver California’s Proposition 64 passed overwhelmingly, legalizing recreational use of marijuana for adults who are at least 21 years old. California residents and visitors may legally possess up to an ounce of marijuana and up to six marijuana plants, though users can be fined for smoking in public, reported NBC News. Despite the […]

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‘Outrage’ laws can work out badly

At the height of prison reform, Californians may be repeating the mistakes that led to prison overcrowding and excessive punishments in the first place. In the wake of a rise in sexual assaults across California, several state bills passed into law this November will stiffen punishments against a particular category of “offenders.” In the California […]

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Earth’s main renewable resource? It’s people

By Emile DeWeaver Forty people, damp from rain, gathered in San Quentin’s Protestant Chapel to celebrate what several environmentalists there called the world’s most important natural resource: people. “If you think solar and wind power are the answers to our problems, you’re wrong,” said co-founder Sam Hearnes during his talk about the future of renewable […]

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She helps answer the need for addiction counselors

By Emile DeWeaver Re-entry volunteer Kiki Kessler said every person she has worked with at San Quentin had addiction problems, and there was nowhere to send them. “Guys are getting out, but if they haven’t dealt with their addictions, they’ll come back,” Kessler said. In 2005, she discovered two men serving life sentences, R. Trunzo […]

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Diabetic program saves lives at San Quentin

By Emile DeWeaver “This is the most important program in San Quentin because it saves lives,” said Aaron Martin, a mentor in San Quentin State Prison’s Diabetic Program. He opened the ceremony for 40 graduates with a personal story about how his lack of knowledge about diabetes almost killed him. “When I came to the […]

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How LVN Magnolia Datu Learned That Crying Is Against the Rules

By Emile DeWeaver Courage is many things. Sometimes it’s facing your prejudices to discover there’s nothing to fear; sometimes it’s joking when you are hemmed in by razor wire and regulations; and sometimes it’s finding other ways to cry when crying over the suffering of another human being is against the rules. Magnolia Datu’s job […]

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Keeping SQ Inmates Connected to Their Families

By Emile DeWeaver There’s an old maxim that behind every strong man stands a strong woman. The women of the San Quentin Inmate Family Council (IFC) are standing not behind but in the vanguard, keeping many men at San Quentin connected to their families. IFC supports connections “between inmates and their families through improved communications, […]

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Prison Univ. Project Awards Degrees to Seven Graduates

By Emile DeWeaver “Beginnings” emerged as a dominant theme at the Prison University Project’s (PUP) graduation ceremony. The graduation began with music, cheers, and applause for the seven graduates who filed down a center aisle created by strategic placement of chairs in the visiting room. Alumni, volunteer teachers, and PUP staff congratulated the class of […]

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Terms ‘Felon’ and ‘Convict’ Stricken by Justice Department

By Emile DeWeaver The Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs announced in May that it will no longer use words such as “felon” or “convict” to refer to people released from prison. Assistant Attorney General Karol Mason wrote in a guest piece for the Washington Post that the nation bears a responsibility to reduce both […]

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