Family, friends, co-workers gather at prison to remember

By Don Chaddock, InsideCDCR editor
Photos by Lt. Sam Robinson, AA/Public Information Officer
San Quentin State Prison

To mark the 30th anniversary of the stabbing death of a Correctional Sergeant, a ceremony was held Monday, June 8, at San Quentin State Prison.

On June 8th, 1985, Correctional Sgt. Howell “Hal” Burchfield was stabbed to death by three inmates while on duty at San Quentin, leaving behind his wife Barbara and five children, according to a Sept. 28, 2000, article published on

“Several days before Hal’s death, the Correctional Peace Officers Foundation (CPOF), the nation’s only charity for correctional professionals, had officially determined how and when they would provide financial aid to the families of officers who had lost their lives in the line of duty. … Barbara and her family became the first recipients of the Foundation’s death benefit, receiving funds to attend to their immediate needs, such as funeral costs,” the article states.

Charlene Corby, who attended this year’s ceremony, was involved in the early days of the charity and contacted Barbara after her husband’s death.

“It was my first time approaching a widow,” Corby told “In-the-line-of-duty deaths take such a toll on the families. People remember the fallen officer, but many times don’t recognize the families they’ve left behind, so I want to know how they are and what they need.”

Sgt. Burchfield’s daughter, Marjorie, now dons the uniform and serves as a Correctional Officer at Folsom State Prison.