Christmas Behind Bars

George Lavender

Reader donations, many as small as just $1, have kept In These Times publishing for 45 years. Once you've finished reading, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to support this work.

Life of the Laws Nancy Mullane has this recording from caroling at California’s oldest prison, San Quentin on a Christmas Eve. This year more than 3,900 people will spend Christmas inside The Q.” 

Then, one voice began. Then another. They sang to the men in North Block, raising their voices loud enough for the men on death row to hear them on the top floor. They sang with the prisoners allowed to leave their cells, and they sang for those who stood along the rows of tiers and watched. Continue reading…

(The connection between Christmas and prison goes back a long way according to Jean Casella and James Ridgeway over at Solitary Watch. As they write, St Nicholas, Santa Claus himself is believed to have spent time in prison on more than one occassion. The historical Nicolaos of Myra who lived from 270 to 343 AD was imprisoned by the Roman empire for five years.) 

Your donation makes In These Times possible

When you contribute, you're not just giving a gift—you're helping publish the next In These Times story. Will you join your fellow readers, and help fund this work by making a tax-deductible donation today?

George Lavender is an award-winning radio and print journalist based in Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter @GeorgeLavender.
Subscribe and Save 66%

Less than $1.67 an issue