Christmas Behind Bars

George Lavender

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.) 

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