All Articles: Profiles

Flood of SQ media attention draws back Van Jones

By Rahsaan Thomas Incarcerated men at San Quentin are getting a lot of press for their accomplishments. The media work produced by and featuring incarcerated men attracted a visit from a CNN anchor and the mayor of Mill Valley. Van Jones, host of CNN’s “The Messy Truth,” and Jessica Sloan, mayor of Mill Valley, came […]

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Looking back on 42 years of service at San Quentin

By Charles David Henry In June 1975, Donald Graham left the California Department of Corrections’ training academy after two weeks and took his first job assignment at San Quentin State Prison. An Air Force veteran with college degrees in computer science and mathematics from California State University at Sonoma, Graham came to work for the […]

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Radio journalist wins Bay Area award

By Juan Haines A state prisoner’s feature story won a prestigious journalism award after beating out over 200 entries from more than 100 professionals representing 29 media organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area. The broadcast story titled Lady Jay Talks About Being Transgender in Prison won the 2016 San Francisco Peninsula Press Club award […]

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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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Stateless…a massacre…a murder…and now free

By John Lam Borey “PJ” Ai may be one of the most accomplished persons you will ever meet. He also happens to be one of the youngest persons to be given a life sentence for murder, at age 14. After spending 20 years in prison, he was found suitable for parole at his first hearing, […]

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Farewell to Cherished Kid CAT Volunteer Hera Chan

By John Lam More than 50 San Quentin inmates gathered in a rustic trailer to honor and bid farewell to a cherished volunteer, Hera Chan. “There are no words to describe the impact that she has had in our Kid CAT curriculum,” said Cleo Cloman, lead Kid CAT facilitator. “Hera always shows up with a […]

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Kevin Carr’s Nineteen Years of Struggles and Healing

By Juan Haines Senior Editor Kevin Carr says he can now see the light at the end of the tunnel since California voters passed initiatives in 2012 and 2014 that reduced the state’s tough on crime laws. Nineteen years ago, Carr was a different person. “I was struck out for a commercial burglary for stealing […]

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Sheriff Gives Ex-Felon Second Chance

By Charles David Henry Journalism Guild Writer The universal axiom of “what goes around comes around” is one of those parables that have modest importance to a person until he experiences life’s full circle. Michael “Tiny” Hill Jr. is one of those persons. In a story published by The Hutchinson News, his circle began with […]

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Parolee Finds Redemption Through Basketball

By Rahsaan Thomas Journalism Guild Chairman For Jamaal Lee, education was unimportant in his hoop dreams, and he wound up in prison. Now, at age 33, he’s redeemed himself by securing a Vanguard University basketball scholarship with his focus on getting his degree. Lee is in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in order to become […]

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Documentary Examines Immigrant’s Journey

By Juan Haines Staff Writer An hour-long documentary about an ex-offender who spent nearly two decades behind bars and then sought forgive-ness through non-violence advocacy made its premiere for an audience of nearly 100 prisoners, mostly Asian and Pacific Islanders. “Breathin’: The Eddy Zheng Story” debuted at San Quentin State Prison on Feb. 29. The […]

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