San Quentin State Prison | KALW

San Quentin State Prison

Ninna Gaensler-Debs / KALW


Protesters gathered outside San Quentin, Sunday, to demand local officials take action to address the skyrocketing numbers of COVID-19 cases inside the prison.

Brother's Keepers: A suicide support group for inmates

Jul 7, 2016
Under CC license from Flickr user Jitze Couperus.

Deaths by suicide in prison are rare, but when they happen they create shockwaves. Inmates need support with handling trauma, and in 2005, Dennis Pratt co-founded Brother’s Keepers, a support group that works with inmates to prevent suicide and help each other through crises.

A runner's high in prison

Jan 6, 2014
Under CC license from Flickr user marksteelenz

KALW has partnered with radio producers inside California's oldest prison to bring you the San Quentin Prison Report: a series of stories documenting life in the prison, written and produced by the men inside. 

Chris Schumacher may be serving a life sentence, but when he runs, he feels a sense of freedom. Once an addict, he now finds that exercise can curb his destructive urges. He says thousands of laps around the San Quentin Prison track have changed his life.

Nigel Poor

Marcus Williams went to prison when he was 17 years old. It was 1984: "Miami Vice" and "The Cosby Show" were the hottest things on TV. Run DMC and Kurtis Blow were the reigning kings of hip hop.

After 29 years, Marcus no longer lives in prison; he was released from San Quentin last spring. He's one of about 24,000 inmates who were released on parole from California prisons in the past year. Marcus spoke with KALW's Holly Kernan about how he's adjusting to life outside prison.

How the prodigal son became a preacher

Sep 30, 2013
Nigel Poor

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.

Derrick Holloway grew up in a Christian family, but chose to sell drugs and participate in a lifestyle that resulted in him committing a murder. After being convicted and sentenced to life in prison, Holloway eventually went back to the Christian faith he was raised with. In fact, he became a pastor and began preaching the word of God.

Michael Coghlan / Flickr

Dr. O’Neil Dillon served as the lead psychiatrist at Solano and San Quentin state prisons from 1994 to 2000. Before working in the California state prison system, Dr. Dillon practiced general psychiatry in Berkeley at Herrick Memorial Hospital and Alta Bates Hospital. He also serves as President of the Northern California Psychiatric Society.