XII-"Behind Prison Bars" - Charles Howe - San Francisco Chronicle

XII-"Behind Prison Bars" - Charles Howe - San Francisco Chronicle

San Quentin's Elite Force In Action

by: Charles Howe | publication date: March 10, 1971 | Publication: San Francisco Chronicle | pages: 1

". . .During the day I spent on the Special Security Squad at San Quentin Prison - inmates call it "the goon squad" - we ripped off Papa John's cell. We carried out seven pillowcases pull of everything from porn to extra clothing to unauthorized books and a surplus of cigarettes. We crawled through the prison's sewers like fugitives from "Les Miserables" searching for cut bars, heroin, or anything that could construed as part of a prison break - or for the thousands of items which are contraband for prisoners. . ."

From the article's editor's note: "For three months, Chronicle reporters Charles Howe and Tim Findley lived in the iron world of California's prisons. As part of the assignment, Howe spent a week as a guard at San Quentin. Today, he tells what it was like on San Quentin's "goon squad" - the elite squad of correctional officers who are the prison's trouble shooters.

Copyrighted, used with permission.