To San Quentin News,
Happy New Year! I hope 2020 is filled with many blessings for the entire news team and that you guys con- tinue to do an amazing job reporting the news we need. I respect each and every last one of you for fighting the good fight, making a difference, and constantly having patience with me when I was young & dumb at times, but I’m learning along the way and that’s what counts, right?
I’m just writing to wish you all the very best and to stay in touch because I can’t forget about y’all! I will al- ways cherish & appreciate the times we had. I wish we could make some new memories, but unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be making it back to SQ. I’m stuck up here at Pelican Bay and, no lie, it sucks LOL. Good news I have a few years till my release though! I still don’t re- ally know what I’m gonna do when I get out LOL. Well, I send mines to all of you. There’s too many names to list and I’m sure there are many new additions to the SQ News team that I don’t wanna leave out either.
Keep up the good work and don’t be afraid to give me a shout-out in the next issue of the SQ News! LOL For real though I miss y’all and I’m sending positive vibes y’all’s way so keep ya antennas up!
Pelican Bay State Prison
From Editorial Board and Staff,
Pariani is a former SQ News staff member. He was the youngest of us. We know what it means to be young and finding yourself while navigating prison life. Some of us have done decades of this life. So for you youngsters – we are called OGs for a reason – not all good, not all bad. But it is for you to learn. The choice is yours.
Pariani, we know your future is bright, but you must prepare for success or you will find yourself doing more of the same things.
I’ve been incarcerated for 30 years and have been housed at various Level 4 prisons for the entire 30 years of my incarceration. As I began to lose hope of ever being free, I (started to) delve deep into the violent and criminal activities of prison life. I’ve spent a significant number of years in and out of Ad-Seg and the security housing units (SHU). After I discovered how and why I became a thug and a criminal, I began the hard and challenging process of reconstructing a new and positive way of thinking. I sought to change myself to become a better version of ME!
I’ve experienced a lot of both good and bad things in prison. The good things that I’ve experienced: engaging in efforts to rehabilitate myself within the past 10 years and being a mentor to other prisoners, working to motivate, inspire and encourage them to engage in rehabilitative efforts to change. The other good things that I’ve witnessed is the hard work by members of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition, Initiate Justice, Restore Justice, and other organizations play an instrumental role to help reform the California criminal justice system.
I’ve witnessed and heard about a lot of prisoners who were serving life sentences being granted parole, which was unheard of when I initially came to prison in 1989. They were granted parole because they did the hard work that it took to rehabilitate themselves. They became suitable to be granted parole, while I engaged in prison-related criminal activities that kept me in the SHU, with a classification score of 377 points. I’m now far removed from engaging in criminal activities. I’ve been on the road of rehabilitation for the past 10 years and I’m about to go home in a few months, thanks to SB 1437.
San Quentin News also continues to play a vital role for prisoners by providing us with important information and news relevant to our incarceration, rehabilitation and legislative news. The San Quentin News has given me, as well as other prisoners, hope for a better future. And I want to thank all the staff there that provides us prisoners with content that you publish.
For those of you serving a life sentence, DO NOT GIVE UP and DO NOT LOSE HOPE. Fight to get out and stop fighting to stay in.
Calipatria State Prison
San Quentin News,
I’m always looking for a reason to send a letter to the editor of San Quentin News. Thankfully I’ve now got a reason. Like many of us serving time I came to prison as a teen, and because of this there are many things in life I never got to do or experience. So I came in lost and lonely with lack of love.
As many of us do, I began to experiment and dabble in the life of drugs. I quickly became a heroin addict without even realizing I had. The first time I ever used, I found warmth, comfort, purpose and love. As my tolerance built up to it, I would lose the feeling and daily for five years straight I chased the drugs, making my body dependent.
As time passed, the unbelievable finally happened. Something I constantly told myself, “It won’t happen to me.” I overdosed in my cell. Thanks to the quick response of my peers, the CO’s and nurses I was brought back (something rare in the free world, “quick responses”).
Upon returning from the hospital I sought help from the medical staff and was offered it immediately. I was put into the MAT/SUD treatment program that set me on a recovery plan. Not only do they provide medical help, such as suboxone, they offer mental health services, including groups and counseling.
Thanks to God, my wife and this program, I have now been sober and living a day to day life upon recovery. If you find yourself how I once was — lost, depressed, addicted and living a life in rock bottom — don’t be embarrassed to seek help. Addiction is a disease that we can’t fight and win on our own. CDCR sees the problem and is providing us the help. We are already prisoners. Why be a prisoner and slave to this drug as well? Save yourself and seek the help if you need it.
My warmest regards,
Calipatria State Prison