Author Archives: Emile Deweaver

Inmate’s path back from a very bad start

By Emile DeWeaver Charlie Spence dreams of going home after two decades in prison, but he may never go home because of decisions he made as a teenager. Spence gave up on school when teachers humiliated him; he started using drugs so other kids would accept him, and when he was 16 years old, he […]

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Kwanzaa celebration offers solutions for the community

By Emile DeWeaver The timing of Kwanzaa’s 50th anniversary celebration in San Quentin was apt because the event happened on the third night of Kwanzaa when communities come together to share and solve problems. More than 100 men attended the event, which was hosted by Darnell “Moe” Washington. The celebration featured music, spoken word poetry […]

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Veterans and Shakespeare converge to tell war stories

By Emile DeWeaver Staff Writer A group of San Quentin veterans joined some Shakespearean actors to portray the traumas they endured in war. Recently, over 30 guests came into San Quentin as our nation’s former heroes performed excerpts from their lives alongside Shakespearean actors. The veterans enacted their war traumas to show the cost of […]

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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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