In 1989, Correction News published a Director’s Message by James Rowland in which he focused on women working in the department.
The May 1989 edition of Correction News touted the department’s first female firefighters at Folsom State Prison. One of the firefighters had been a U.S. Olympic ski team athlete when she was a teenager.
In 1930, San Quentin Warden James B. Holohan voiced his appreciation for the cooperation and support of those who volunteered their time and energy into an event to held rehabilitate inmates.
This 1921 Folsom Prison inspection report, penned by Agent A.C. Jensen, contained photographs of the prison, included three recommendations and gives a snapshot in time. The report includes a typical menu which included such offerings as cinnamon snails, stewed ranch prunes and corn meal mush.
This 1967-68 departmental Progress Report outlined numerous shifts in managing the state’s prison system including a new family visiting program and challenges in filling conservation camps. At the time, the department operated 13 institutions and 34 conservation camps.
The department’s biennial report dated 1959-1960 outlined the new facility coming online at California Men’s Colony. This document provides a snapshot of the institution in 1960 and its vision for the future.
A 1957 departmental bulletin outlines the expectations and pay for Correctional Officers (COs) at the time. Beginning COs earned $358 per month. The positions were also only available to men. Female COs were hired beginning in the 1970s.
This 2003 story looks at the department’s five drug-sniffing K-9s. “Three prisons – CSP-Solano, Correctional Training Facility and Salinas Valley State Prison – employ specially trained dogs and handlers to help stop the flow of illicit drugs. For Major and his K-9 colleagues at the other prisons, the serious business of sniffing out drugs is one big game.”
In 2002, the departmental newsletter published this piece on Correctional Officer Mike Begley in his role as second watch desk officer at San Quentin State Prison’s East Block, one of three housing units for condemned inmates. At the time, Officer Begley was a 14-year San Quentin veteran.
With little information at hand, unedited film clips of inmates and staff performing gave no indication of when the film was shot or by whom. There was no audio in the film. After searching, it turns out to be from the 1942 movie “The Men of San Quentin.”