San Quentin State Prison lost a great treasure on Aug. 23. After a lengthy battle with cancer, Correctional Officer L. Griffin passed away.
Griffin’s passing hit the men-in-blue like a boulder. Griffin had worked at San Quentin since Feb. 14, 1998.
“Once I heard about C/O Griffin’s passing, I was instantly saddened, being that we worked together for four years,” said Anthony Ammons. “One of the most important things that Griffin taught me was to always say ‘thank you’ and ‘you’re welcome.’”
Harold Meeks added, “The wisdom and words of encouragement Griffin gave to me empowered me to keep mentoring the youth inside these prison walls. Griffin always reminded us that we can change, and it is possible.”
Griffin was well-known to younger inmates, who wore their pants too low—they’d catch hell for it. “Stop sagging your pants,” Griffin would tell the youngsters, and rightfully so. Griffin never missed an opportunity to speak candidly and directly and never worried about who listened or their opinions.
The prison staff, as well as the men-in-blue, knew Griffin for being cheerful in nature. Many say that laughter would fill the room whenever Griffin appeared— filling every corner in every inch of San Quentin.
Here are just a few of the things said about Griffin:
“Griffin wasn’t just a correctional officer; Griffin was a mentor, a teacher and a pure hearted genuine soul, who always offered you the truth.”
“If you never knew what a real angel looked like then you never saw Griffin.”
“Griffin told stories filled with a wealth of knowledge but also with an abundance of joy, laughter and smiles.”
“It didn’t rain on Aug. 23, 2019; the sun shined, just like Griffin’s smile.”
Without a doubt, the atmosphere here at San Quentin will never be the same.