Author Archives: Marcus Henderson

Cycle of incarceration trap mother and son

By Marcus Henderson Devin Cole last saw his mom when he was 2 years old. Then she went to prison. That was 22 years ago, when Alisa “Lee Lee” Stanifer began serving a life sentence at the California Institution for Women (CIW) in Corona. Cole has been wearing denim at San Quentin for a year […]

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Historic Black American’s first achievements

The accomplishments of African-Americans like Martin Luther King and Malcolm X are well known, but history records many African-Americans who also contributed to the progress of Black people in America. Their stories are rarely read or celebrated. Here are some examples from three sources detailing Black history: James Durham overcame being born a slave to […]

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Pastor brings more than just sports to inmates

By Marcus Henderson Even when Pastor Miguel Rodriquez (CQ) was recovering from surgery for a burst appendix in 2015, he stayed involved with the Prison Sports Ministry. From his sick bed he recruited teams to visit the prison. For 10 years Pastor Rodriquez has been a hard-core sponsor. He has played and brought teams in […]

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US prison commissary giants are set to merge

By Marcus Henderson  As prisoners across the nation wage protests over what they consider slave labor for low or no pay, two of the country’s biggest prison commissary companies are set to merge. HIG Capital, owner of Trinity Services Group, a commissary and food-service operator, announced that it would be acquiring Keefe Group, one of […]

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Homeless teens forced to choose jail just to get a square meal

By Marcus Henderson Jail or starvation are the hard choices some American teens have to make when facing uncertainty of where their next meal is coming from, the Urban Institute reported in September. Teens spoke about going to jail or failing school, so they could attend summer classes to receive lunches as another means for […]

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Protesters’ vigil at CIW for women who took their own lives

By Marcus Henderson Alarmed by high suicides rates and other alleged abuses at the California Institution for Women (CIW), about 80 people gathered in front of the prison to protest and remember loved ones who took their lives while incarcerated there. Protesters came holding signs, some shaped like coffins, and wearing T-shirts proclaiming the memory […]

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Straight talk from women at SQ’s ‘Sister, I’m Sorry’ event

Dozens of San Quentin prisoners listened intently as seven women described their own experiences surviving horrific crimes including rape, incest, abandonment and domestic violence. During the panel discussion Nov. 12 in the Protestant Garden Chapel, the men received a dose of straight talk and a reality check on the hidden pains of women. Darell “Obadiah” […]

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Christmas banquet shows appreciation for the volunteers

By Marcus Henderson More than 250 prisoners filled the San Quentin Garden Chapel to show appreciation for the tireless work of it volunteers at its 2016 Annual Christmas Banquet. The theme of the event was “I was in prison and you visited me,” quoting Jesus Christ from the Bible, Matthew 25:36. The chapel was decorated […]

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Correctional Officers honored for rescuing citizens

By Marcus Henderson Three California correctional officers have been honored for using their emergency training to rescue injured citizens. One motorist layed unconscious in an overturned car on a 100-yard steep embankment. Avenal State Prison Lts. Mike Tuntakit and John Mendiboure broke out a window and used life-saving tactics to resuscitate her, reported the Hanford […]

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A chorus of praise for 11 addiction graduates

By Marcus Henderson A United States congressman was one of three dignitaries to venture inside San Quentin to recognize 11 inmates for turning their lives around and being certified to teach their fellow inmates how to overcome substance abuse. “This was inspirational,” said Mark DeSaulnier, who represents California’s 11th District, at the 2016 graduation of […]

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