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Grieving, Interrupted

Calvin Williams Jr. (CJ) and his step-father Vince O'Bannon were finally able to process the death of a family member once they were reunited at San Quentin.
San Quentin News
Calvin Williams Jr. (CJ) and his step-father Vince O'Bannon were finally able to process the death of a family member once they were reunited at San Quentin.

Most people in prison know that when you get an unexpected call to the counselor’s office it doesn’t mean anything good. Often you’re told that a loved one, on the outside, has died. And once you’ve gotten that terrible news, there are lots of unspoken barriers that make it difficult to mourn. On this episode of Uncuffed, the producers at San Quentin share stories of loss - all of the stigmas and complications that get in the way of grieving.

This story was produced by Steve Brooks with help from Juan Haines, Angela Johnston, Ninna-Gaensler-Debs and sound designer Eric Maserati-E Abercrombie.

This piece was brought to you by the team at Uncuffed. Our work in prisons is supported by the California Arts Council, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and donations from listeners like you. The producers fact-check content to the best of their ability. Content is approved by an information officer.

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Learn more, sign up for Uncuffed news, and support the program at www.weareuncuffed.org

Uncuffed Personal StoriesFrom The Producers Of UncuffedprisonSan Quentin
Steve Brooks is an award-winning journalist. He currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief of San Quentin News, and has written for several publications including Sports Illustrated and The Nation. Steve's mission is to use his voice to increase public safety and advance social justice.
Ryan C. Pagan is a storyteller and multimedia producer raised in Riverside, California. He is currently the Program Lead of Forward This Productions at San Quentin State Prison. Ryan believes in changing society's perceptions of incarcerated people, and works to provide opportunities to at-risk youth.
Timothy Hicks is a journalist and sports editor from Oakland, California. His work includes print, videography, and audio journalism. Tim aspires to use his platforms to create change in the criminal justice system. He loves chocolate ice cream and Hershey's chocolate bars.
Anthony Caravalho is an award-winning journalist at San Quentin News and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He is passionate about advocating for the wrongfully arrested in the criminal justice system. Anthony is also the founder of Help Everyone Reunite Safely, which specializes in safe housing for survivors of sexual assault.
Juan Moreno Haines is a journalist incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison; he has served as a senior editor at the award-winning San Quentin News; and is currently a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, where he was awarded its Silver Heart Award in 2017 for being “a voice for the voiceless.” Haines’s work has appeared in Solitary Watch, The Guardian, The Appeal, Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal, Above the Law, UCLA Law Review, Life of the Law, The Oakland Post, California Prison Focus, LA Progressive, CalMatters, Witness LA, and Street Spirit.