SAN QUENTIN — The scene was almost indistinguishable from that in any other newsroom. Editors sat around chatting about the next issue and tinkering with stories. Front pages were tacked up on the walls, and family photos were taped to computer terminals.
But in fact this newspaper office was unlike almost any other, obvious from the dress code: Staff members wore the standard blue uniform of California prison inmates.
When the phone rang, the answer was a crisp, “Hello, San Quentin News.”
The newspaper — motto: “The Pulse of San Quentin” — is one of the country’s only inmate-produced publications. Convicts write the articles and design the pages from behind the walls of the all-male lockup outside San Francisco that houses California’s death row.