The prison is a graveyard for the living, a place where tarnished egos and twisted minds congregate against their will and where anger is vented toward the guards and their families. My father had a job as a guard, later becoming the father of sports for San Quentin Prison. We had a home on the reservation across from the warden’s mansion on the hill, and I attended the small school on the grounds where the warden’s wife taught classes. The school janitor, an inmate ready for parole within a year, was always available to throw a ball or show us how to swing a bat. That’s how the children of the guards grew up, liking and trusting the prisoners that walked freely through the prison grounds. It was a happy childhood, even though the school bus was occasionally late because of an execution.
San Quentin Quail, A Girl Behind Bars is a true experience of life on a prison reservation. This book is true California history, where guards and prisoners resided as one happy family—well, almost.