Author Archives: Kevin D. Sawyer

Inmates preview job opportunities thanks to an Employment Readiness Seminar

By Kevin D. Sawyer A group of San Quentin prisoners got a preview of job opportunities when they are released, thanks to an Employment Readiness Seminar. Thirty-six inmates and 33 outside guests attended the December event, the latest of four job seminars held in the past two years. “We prepare men for jobs,” said Diana […]

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Proposition 57 passed … what now?

By Kevin D. Sawyer Mike Romano, director of the Three Strikes Project at Stanford Law School, shared a few thoughts on ballot initiative Proposition 57 before the election. Now that it has passed, many inmates in California are asking what to do next. Romano did not provide specific details on how the law will be […]

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SQ Mission: Learning to earn a living wage

By Kevin D. Sawyer In prison, education is all about public safety. Shannon Swain, Deputy Superintendent for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (CDCR) Office of Correctional Education (OCE) understands this well. “If someone’s going to do time, then they should learn something to better their community,” said Swain. “If someone learns a skill […]

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Melissa Davis keeping the community safe on both sides of the law

By Kevin D. Sawyer There is a growing number of individuals working in law enforcement who labor freely, beyond what their profession requires of them, to increase public safety. Meet Melissa Davis, who has been working as one of Marin County’s probation officers for a little more than 12 years. She has a Bachelor of […]

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A Look Back at Aly Tamboura’s Legacy and Accomplishments

By Kevin D. Sawyer Earlier this month, Aly Tamboura regained his freedom after 12 years of incarceration for assault. To say he is rehabilitated would be an understatement because, as it is sometimes said, “all felons are not created equally.” Tamboura, 50, did not serve a life sentence, so he could have sat around, done […]

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Police Harassment of Blacks Higher Than for Other Minorities

By Kevin D. Sawyer In a recent poll, Blacks reported being harassed by police at a higher percentage than reported by Asians, Hispanics and Whites, according to The Associated Press (AP). “Two-thirds of young African-Americans and 4 in 10 Hispanics say that they or someone they know has experienced violence or harassment at the hands […]

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Jail and Prison Collect Phone Calls on the Rise Despite FCC Rate Cap

By Kevin D. Sawyer The cost of collect telephone calls made from jails and prisons is on the rise, in spite of a recent rate cap imposed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), according to the International Business Times (IBT). “In my 16 years as a regulator, this is the clearest, most egregious case of […]

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New Technologies Cut Profits for Private Communication Companies

By Kevin D. Sawyer As new technology emerges and inmates’ collect and prepaid telephone calls become less profitable, companies are looking to other communication services to increase profit, Prison Policy Initiative (PPI) reported. “The promise of these new services is often tempered by a relentless focus on turning incarcerated people and their families into revenue […]

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Student-run Newspaper Drops In on Inmate-run Newspaper

By Kevin D. Sawyer Several students and faculty from The Pioneer, California State University East Bay’s (CSUEB) student-run newspaper, visited San Quentin State Prison and its media center last month. The visit allowed the aspiring student-journalists, along with CSUEB staff, to have a first-hand look at the prison and its newsroom, where the inmate-run San […]

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Potential Employers Interview Inmates for Brighter Futures

By Kevin D. Sawyer Associate Editor A group of inmates who will be looking for employment opportunities once they parole got a head start at San Quentin’s third Employment Readiness Seminar (ERS). A panel of 18 women and men from the outside representing employers, trade unions, apprenticeship programs and other organizations attended the event held […]

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