Behind the Bars: Exploring the Prison System

Shannon Donelan

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Behind the Bars: Exploring the Prison System

The dimly lit room is alive with love. A woman feeds her husband french fries. A father throws his daughter above his head, she squeals with delight. A couple poses for a picture in front of a waterfall mural, staring affectionately into each other’s eyes. Siblings chat about current family drama. Hand-in-hand, another young couple walks laps around the room as they stare at what is beyond the window.

But there are bars on the windows. The men are dressed in blue, and “Prisoner” is bolded on the backs of their shirts. A security guard armed with guns roams nearby. This is the visiting room of San Quentin. These are the humans who live behind bars and the loved ones who they rarely get to see.

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