All Articles: Human Interest

Comedian W. Kamau Bell has a lot to say

By Rahsaan Thomas W. Kamau Bell sat down for a candid interview revealing his thoughts on Trump, the value of taking East Asian Studies in college and the connection between mass incarceration and racism. Bell sat down for the interview on Feb. 27 after walking into the San Quentin Catholic Chapel with his entourage, including […]

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New SQ dramas tackle issues of social justice

By Davontae Pariani A prison chapel became an effective platform for incarcerated men to address social justice issues. The Oct. 21 performances, called Parallel Plays, were inspired by themes such as power, oppression, choice, forgiveness, isolation and hope found in William Shakespeare’s As You Like It and The Tempest, as well as in their own […]

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Why these prisons are calm: Inmates are respected

By Juan Haines The key to the low violence levels in Sweden’s high-security Kumla prison is how prisoners are treated, its warden told Prison Yoga Project founder James Fox. One of the unique characteristics of Kumla is its Retreat Center. Nine prisoners at a time attend 10-day silent retreats. The prison schedules 20 retreats throughout […]

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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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My son the warrior

By Laura Murray My 36-year old son is an Army Special Forces Medic. He has numerous campaign medals and was awarded the Bronze Star for bravery. He has fought for our country in Iraq and Afghanistan and is currently in Israel, awaiting his next assignment in Africa. As a boy, he was reckless, jumping from […]

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Kid CAT symposium highlights value of rehabilitation

By Juan Haines The day after Yom Kippur, a prison chapel served as a safe place for survivors of crime, men who committed violent crimes and concerned citizens to hold a conversation about the importance of rehabilitation and atonement for community healing. “I think that this day is important because we have two voices that […]

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‘Homestretch’ documents homeless youth on the streets

There’s a hidden epidemic of homeless teens in America, and the documentary Homestretch sheds light on the problems of homeless youth on the streets, such as housing, education and sexual abuse and the government’s efforts to solve this problem. “We were searching for subjects that hit us in the heart,” Kirsten Kelly, co-creator of Homestretch, […]

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How Restorative Justice transforms offenders

By Rahsaan Thomas Taking 62 violent prisoners, putting them in the same dorm, and requiring them to participate in a Restorative Justice program sounded to Sunny Schwartz like a good way to stem their criminal thinking and recidivism. “‘You don’t put 62 violent men in a open dorm,’” Schwartz said deputies told her. “They thought […]

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Looking at what’s behind the national anthem

By Rahsaan Thomas The American national anthem contains language that is said to celebrate the killing of slaves fighting for their freedom, according to research inspired by the attention Colin Kaepernick has drawn for taking a knee during the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” In the wake of the recent police shootings of Blacks, the […]

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Trying to Help His Victim’s Family

By David B. Le A drunk driver is raising money for the family of the man he killed, KABC reported. Tyler Thompson, now 26, was driving drunk on the wrong side of Freeway 210 in Asuza when he killed 19-year-old Justin Romo in August 2014. Though Thompson initially pleaded not guilty, he later changed his […]

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