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Handshakes have a lot to say

Nigel Poor

When volunteering at a prison there are many rules to follow: there are dress codes, restrictions on what can be brought in and out, and physical contact between volunteers and inmates is strictly forbidden.

At San Quentin, rule number seven in the volunteer handbook states: Do not hug inmates or engage in any other form of physical contact other than a handshake.

A  handshake may be perceived as a simple and polite way of saying hello, but behind bars a handshake can have many different interpretations. From inside San Quentin Prison, volunteer producer Nigel Poor and inmate reporter Tommy Shakur Ross bring us this story.

Click the audio player above to listen.

KALW has partnered with radio producers inside California's oldest prison to bring you the San Quentin Prison Report, a series of stories focusing on the experiences of these men, written and produced by those living inside the prison's walls. You can find more stories from the San Quentin Prison Report here