Please accept my congratulations and gratitude for the high quality journalism your paper provides. I’m a volunteer for The Last Mile program, and just as you give voice to prisoners across the state, I’d like to give voice to my experiences here at San Quentin. I live in Marin County where I drove by San Quentin for 25 years without giving much thought to what goes on inside prison.
The men I saw on the first day I volunteered were what people generally expect: men with tattoos and troubled pasts. Then I met the men, talked to them, and they stunned me with how intelligent and thoughtful they were. Since my first day, I’ve witnessed human potential at its very best.
I’ve seen people who have EVERYTHING stacked against them triumph personally by learning skills that every high school and college student should learn. I have witnessed a desire to learn and a level of gratitude for everything received that humbles anything I’ve seen among my more enlightened Marin friends. I’ve seen the possibility of what can happen when someone is seen and heard, and given an opportunity to shine.
I’m grateful to The Last Mile for giving so many men this opportunity to shine and for providing me with the occasion to learn about myself. Here’s wishing that more and more prisons in the United States see the light and seriously focus on the “R-Word” – Rehabilitation.
To read the full letter, go to thelastmile.org