Muhammad Ali boxes with an inmate at CRC in 1985.

Muhammad Ali boxes with an inmate at CRC in 1985.

Editor’s Note: Correction News, a publication of what was then known as the California Department of Corrections, published this short piece in their May-June 1985 issue (volume 12, number 5.)

On Sunday, March 17, 1985, Muhammad Ali, internationally known as the only man to regain the heavyweight boxing title of the world on three different occasions, paid a visit to the California Rehabilitation Center.

He recently returned from a trip to Lebanon offering his services to aid in negotiations for peace.

This was Muhammad Ali’s first visit to CRC in Norco. He was greeted by Bob Nelson, Associate Superintendent, Capt. St. Peter, other staff members and hundreds of inmates.

Ali visited first with the women inmates of CRC, signing autographs and demonstrating tricks of magic. He briefly discussed the concept of deception and how important it is to be on guard against all types of deception that can be found in society.

After sharing with the women inmates, he then proceeded to the Men’s Interfaith Chapel where he and the Muslim Community offered the noon prayer. Upon the completion of prayer, Ali again was swarmed by people who wanted to talk with him or get his autograph. No one was disappointed. Muhammad Ali was then escorted to the men’s gym where he boxed with one of the inmates.

The California Department of Corrections and its staff and the inmate population would like to thank Muhammad Ali for the donation of his time, for the hundreds of autographs he signed and for the 200 books (Prayer in Al-Islam) he donated.