Unlocking History: Visionary wardens get creative to foster education, part 3

Today’s rehabilitative efforts in the state prison system can be traced back to the early days of the department. More than a century ago, visionary wardens pushed for job training, education and family engagement so former inmates could reintegrate back into society after being released from prison. Like the definition of visionary, these leaders implemented original ideas and planned the future with “imagination or wisdom.” This series takes a closer look at some of these wardens and their contributions to shaping what would become today’s CDCR. This is the third part in the series.

Unlocking History: Visionary wardens introduced dental care, sought to combat addiction, part 2

Today’s rehabilitative efforts in the state prison system can be traced back to the early days of the department. More than a century ago, visionary wardens pushed for job training, education and family engagement so former inmates could reintegrate back into society after being released from prison. Like the definition of visionary, these leaders implemented original ideas and planned the future with “imagination or wisdom.” This series takes a closer look at some of these wardens and their contributions to shaping what would become today’s CDCR. This is the second part in the series.

Unlocking History: Visionary wardens geared prisons toward rehabilitation, part 1

Today’s rehabilitative efforts in the state prison system can be traced back to the early days of the department. More than a century ago, visionary wardens pushed for job training, education and family engagement so former inmates could reintegrate back into society after being released from prison. Like the definition of visionary, these leaders implemented original ideas and planned the future with “imagination or wisdom.” This series takes a closer look at some of these wardens and their contributions to shaping what would become today’s CDCR. This is the first part in the series.

Unlocking History: 1922 San Quentin Women’s Ward report sheds light on 48 inmates

A yellowed, typed spreadsheet titled “Report of Inmates, Women’s Ward, San Quentin Prison, May 1922” gives some insight into the 48 women serving sentences at the time. In 1922, there were two state prisons – San Quentin and Folsom. Female inmates were housed at San Quentin before the original California Institution for Women was built. One name stands out in the report: Emma Le Doux, the infamous “trunk murderess.”

Unlocking History: Title 15 grew out of Governor literally kicking in San Quentin’s door

In 1858, the Annual Report of the Board of Prison Directors issued “rules and regulations for the government of the state prison at San Quentin.” It was signed by newly elected Gov. John B. Weller, Lt. Gov. Joseph Walkup and Secretary of State Ferris Forman. The three men literally kicked in doors to get the rules established. Eventually, those rules would form the foundation for today’s Title 15.

Unlocking History: CMC’s real story told by staff and inmates, Part 2

With the opening of California Men’s Colony East Facility in 1961, everyday life at the prison was about to change. The relationship between inmate and custody staff was unique to CMC, with inmates holding the keys to their cells. Part of the culture difference at CMC could be attributed to its staff and lower-level inmates. While a prison has walls, guard towers, yards, gates and bars, the real stories of a prison are best told by those who put on a uniform or those serving time.