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Crosscurrents

Inmates on the right to vote

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Denise Cross Photography
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Flickr / Creative Commons

Currently, Californians in state prison or on parole are not allowed to vote. That’s almost 200,000 people in the state.

But an initiative being circulated for the November ballot would change that for prisoners and parolees alike.

San Quentin Radio reporter Greg Eskridge wanted to find out: what does the opportunity to vote mean for those incarcerated?

"I think that any message or any reminder that we are part of a larger society benefits people who are incarcerated. There is just a really powerful narrative in prison that no one cares about us, we don't matter ... so anything that counters that narrative is important."

San Quentin Radio is a project in which KALW editors work with inmates to tell stories inside the prison. San Quentin officials listened to and approved the script and audio for this story prior to broadcast. Thanks to Sam Robinson and Larry Schneider for their help.