Joe Garcia is the chairperson of the Journalism Guild at San Quentin News, the nation’s only prison newspaper run by the incarcerated. He is also an editorial liaison for the Prison Journalism Project and has been published in The Sacramento Bee.
San Quentin on trial: widespread COVID outbreak in crowded conditions causes courts to question the prison’s habitability
For the last month, prisoners, prison officials, and expert witnesses have been testifying in front of a federal judge about San Quentin's mishandling of one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in the country.
In light of a botched transfer last year, federal judge ordered San Quentin State Prison to decrease its population. Here's a look inside San Quentin as officials begin to do so by transferring incarcerated men to other prisons—rather than releasing them.
To those of you going stir crazy while struggling to shelter-in-place and self-isolate, please try and focus on the positive aspects of this new reality. It’s important to find your own beacon of light to pull yourself through the worst of the chaos. Decades of incarceration have taught me this and ingrained in me the coping skills to get through any seemingly depressing situation.