All Articles: Profiles

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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San Quentin Poetry Volunteer C.D. Wright Passes at 67

By Miguel Quezada Staff Writer Poet C.D. Wright passed away on Jan. 13, 2016 in her home in Barrington, R.I., at age 67. She left behind a husband, son and a world of aspiring poets. Her unexpected death was a mere two days after she gave the second in a series of poetry workshops with […]

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Lam Paroled After 22 Years

By John Lam Journalism Guild Writer During his years in San Quentin, Ngheip “Ke” Lam never failed to light up the room with his bright smile. Now, after serving 22 years in prison for first-degree murder, he can smile for the outside world. Lam was found suitable under SB 260 and paroled in December 2015. […]

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Francisco Vargas Finds That Getting Back Into Prison Can Be as Hard as Getting Out

By Tommy Winfrey Arts Editor Artist and ex-convict Francisco Vargas returned to San Quentin to talk to a group of men about his successes and failures in life. But his return to the historic prison did not go as planned. Getting out of prison can be rather difficult; just ask any lifer. For Vargas, getting […]

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San Quentin’s Iconic Painter Alfredo Santos Dies at 87

By Tommy Winfrey Arts Editor Alfredo Santos, a San Quentin legend, died at the age of 87, at 6:15 a.m. at Jacob Healthcare in San Diego on Friday, March 15. Famed for his creation of the murals in San Quentin’s South Dining Hall, Santos gained recognition for this work in 2003 when he returned to […]

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