Can a Maximum-Security Prison Be a Place of Connection?

How the Men in Pelican Bay State Prison Impact the Community Outside, One Another, and Inmates Across California

avid stands with his feet in the foamy water, his arms outstretched, smiling face turned up to the February sky. From where I’m standing among the driftwood, the line of his arms matches perfectly with the Pacific horizon beyond. A little way off, a small, dark-haired woman says something in Cambodian, and her daughter answers laughingly in English. “Don’t worry, Mama.  He’s not going to catch cold!”

David turns and jogs up the beach to rejoin his family, stooping to pluck a pair of new-looking white sneakers from the sand. “Man! …