Time in San Quentin Remains Frozen

For decades, time remains unchanged

By Jose Camacho

San Quentin’s Lower Yard gym has a three and a half square foot clock atop it. However, since 1982, it has been frozen at 5:44. Nobody knows if it stopped ticking at dawn or dusk.

“The yard clock is frozen in time—not reflecting the spirit of San Quentin’s population,” said prisoner Rudy Morales. “Collectively, we need to help that clock breathe life into its brass lungs.”

The San Quentin administration says getting the clock fixed comes down to a money issue and suggested if prisoners want the clock fixed, donations could be made for that purpose.

“The San Quentin inmates have shifted and metamorphosed towards positive programming. Therefore, the time suspended yard clock is not consistent of this positive evolution. Now we want the clock to depict and reflect what San Quentin is about,” said inmate Pedro Espinal.

Several prisoners expressed a desire to fix the clock. Here are a few of their quotes:

“There was a time when S.Q. had a grimy reputation,” said an anonymous inmate. “Now San Quentin has received a facelift through positive programming as a result of Patten University Project college classes, self-help programs, and a varied and diverse sports programs,” said inmate Eddie Carrillo.

“Together, let’s unfreeze the yard clock by writing poems, letters to people that will take notice of our concern of getting that clock synchronized to the positive spirit embracement of the new S.Q. inmate and get that old tic-tocker’s heartbeat pulsating again,” said inmate Carlos.

“I remember working in the gym in the ‘80s and walking outside the gym to see what time it was. The clock had its problems throughout the years. I can’t remember when it went out for good,” said Correctional Officer Jackson.

“This clock is forever telling me that I can’t advance! That’s a lie because I’m progressing in all areas of my capacity,” said an inmate who would appreciate a functioning clock.


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