Highlights from San Quentin News’s February 2020 Edition


Kimberly Garcia and Brianna Flores

The San Quentin prison newspaper is composed of 12-16 inmates. They are aided by 7 professional advisors. The San Quentin Newspaper is written by the inmates of the prison and is printed by Marin Sun Printing and transported back to the prison where it is distributed monthly throughout the prison to all the incarcerated men, prison staff, volunteers, and visitors at the prison. San Quentin News staff also ships 18,000 copies of the newspaper to all 35 California prisons and to local communities.

Here are a few stories from the February 2020 edition that we thought were interesting:

“Prison Truth: The Story of the San Quentin News” by Juan Haines
This article is a book review of Prison Truth: The Story of the San Quentin News by William J. Drummond, which covers the origins of the renowned prison-produced newspaper. The review discusses how Drummond is a reliable source of information who clears up the narrative that rumors about the newspaper have muddied. It also talks about Drummond’s connection to the newspaper, and how journalism is a tool for internal reformation for the prisoners. As one of the members of the book’s subject, Haines backs up Drummond’s assertion by saying that writing not only helps the prisoners but their families, as well, by humanizing their incarcerated loved ones.

“144 graduate from Division of Rehabilitative Programs” by Anthony Manuel Caravalho
Caravalho informs the paper’s readers of the rehabilitation programs offered at San Quentin and of the graduating class of the latest semester, which is made up of 145 people. It includes testimonials from those who graduated about their experiences with the programs and accounts of the graduation ceremony. This article demonstrates the efforts that many prisoners are making to be ready to turn their lives around once their sentences are over, which is something very few talk about.

“The Tender Moments of Valentine’s Day” by San Quentin News Staff
The article is a collection of photos taken with prisoners and their loved ones, both romantic and familial, on Valentine’s Day. Along with the photographs are brief messages of love from the prisoners to those they celebrate the holiday with. The sentiments were heartwarming and were conveyed well.

“Prison University Project’s Annual Open Mic” by Juan Haines
Haines writes about the annual open mic event held by the Prison University Project. The event took place the Friday following Christmas, and two former San Quentin inmates returned to visit their friends and perform for the event, as well. Other performances at the event were documented, with excerpts from some of the performances included in the article. Many performances were comedies, others were about the darker parts of their lives, and some were a mesh of both. The event served as a positive outlet for the inmates’ creativity.

“When Sports Turn an Eye Toward Prison” by Joe Garcia
Garcia discusses the visit the Sacramento Kings paid to Folsom State Prison for the Play For Justice event on December 12, 2019. They heard from previous and current incarcerated folks about their life stories. Throughout the article are statements from the players about what they heard and which details of the stories they heard touched them the most, as well as future efforts and contributions they plan on making for the event.

Information Source: San Quentin News

Featured Image: Kimberly Garcia

Other Image: Wikimedia Commons