Kevin Sawyer, a contributing writer and a journalist at San Quentin, has been conducting surveys about issues and reporting on them for years. In this article, he explains his methodology.
Most state prison systems failed to prioritize vaccinations for inmates, according to the PPI study. Seven months after vaccines were made available, only 55% of the nation’s prisoners had been vaccinated.
As San Quentin State Prison Declares Another Outbreak, Kevin Sawyer, a journalist at the prison, reflects on the past year’s pandemic.
When our loved ones die, there is no notice. No farewell. No goodbye. The distance created by a prison sentence is made permanent by death. Parting this way seems unnatural, unless you’re a prisoner.
Feeling trampled underfoot by America’s criminal justice system, some are convinced of the country’s impending demise. They don’t see themselves as stakeholders in the American Dream, rather, they see themselves as outsiders.
“I’m reading nine books right now,” I said. “If I have an extra 30 minutes of time, I’m going to use it to do what I want to do because I’ve been given a death-by-prison sentence due to its length. And that’s fine, but it’s still my time, and I’m not taking that test again.”
More than 20% of prisoners surveyed at San Quentin State Prison in February said they would not take a COVID-19 vaccination or were undecided.
Nearly 50 years ago the national discourse on state-sanctioned police violence against a Black man rallied around a man named George.
The clock is ticking against me as the pendulum swings like a tethered guillotine suspended by a thread over my shackled body, while packed in like a sardine at San Quentin State Prison.
Writing requires honesty, and journalism demands truth. In prison, a man’s word, and his reputation, mean everything.