Back in the Day

Selected Stories From Past Issues of The San Quentin News

FEB. 12, 1982 –The first annual bodybuilding and powerlifting contest was held in S.Q.’s Skyline Gym. 15 “self–endowed, muscular cons presented their bulging physiques” to a panel of five female judges. Several hundred cons packed into the gym to witness the “unparalleled display of sheer brawn.”

MAR. 12, 1982 – The gunman in the South Block dining hall fired one warning shot to stop an inmate who had thrown a punch at an officer who had attempted to take from him one of the two food trays he was carrying. The con was placed in Ad Seg.

MAR. 12, 1982 – Whites of the East Block bayside were slammed down after one inmate received a serious stab wound in the abdomen that required surgery. A search of the area produced one inmate stabbing instrument, according to the warden’s office.

MAR. 12, 1982 – Two gunmen in the Badger Section fired a total of eight rounds when they observed two inmates on the exercise yard attack a third inmate. Three inmates were treated for birdshot wounds to the legs, calves and buttocks. There were no racial overtones to the incident.

MAR. 12, 1982 – In a case involving a San Quentin convict, the California Supreme Court ruled 5–2 that inmates’ common law spouses may be barred from boneyard, or “conjugal visits.” The court said that such visits “…would represent both social folly and fiscal extravagance at a time when penal funds are needed for more critical purposes.”

MAR. 12, 1981 – Note in the S.Q. News: “Due to the recent lockdowns we’ve had a brainpower shortage in the newsroom. Subsequently we were unable to publish last week.”

MAR. 12, 1982 – The canteen price list has cigarettes at $7per carton, and Copenhagen snuff at 75 cents. Magazines offered include Gallery, Hustler, Easy Riders, Penthouse, Playboy and Playgirl among the 26 publications that are offered for sale.

MAR. 12, 1982 – Inmates and staff alike joined in to share the abundant food at the Annual MAC Banquet. All present enjoyed the buffet style meal, after which they listened to Ninth District Assemblyman Art Agnos.

JUNE 11, 1982 – Warden Reginald Pulley was criticized over the seizure of 6,000 copies of the S.Q. News in a dispute over an editorial about the death penalty. Prison officials objected to a “graphic description of the process” contained in the column, and maintained the article was “inflammatory” and likely to fuel violence between inmates and guards.

JUNE 11, 1982 – An R&R officer noticed “an inmate standing around bleeding.” Further investigation by the observant copper determined the inmate had puncture wounds in the chest, hands and stomach. He was admitted to the hospital for treatment and observation.

JUNE 11, 1982 – A variety of outside bands combined with several inmate bands to provide the entertainment in the north dining hall for the annual Cinco de Mayo celebration. Los Banditos led off the morning, followed by several rock and country western bands.

JUNE 11 1982 – A gunman fired two shots on the North Block exercise yard to quell a fistfight between two cons. One inmate was treated at the hospital for birdshot wounds to the back and legs. The reason for the dispute appeared to have been persona


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