Weekend America Series
Weekends Behind Bars
One in every 31 U.S. adults is currently locked up behind bars, and men and women serving life sentences -- some with the possibility of parole, some locked up for life -- are the fastest-growing part of the prison population. The number of "lifers" has doubled in the past decade to more than 100,000. Weekend America focuses on how lifers serving time inside San Quentin State Prison spend their weekends. Some of those lifers will eventually be paroled and rejoin life outside the walls. Will they have changed their ways and reformed?
Everyone knows it's not easy to forgive someone and move on, especially if the offense was criminal. A program in Northern California helps people who have been the victim of a crime find forgiveness through dialogue. And who they talk to is kind of surprising.
No one goes to prison for the food. But there's an exception to the drab cafeteria stuff usually served up. They're called Saturday food sales. On these days, inmates raise money for programs by selling restaurant food to fellow prisoners--like a bake sale behind bars.
At San Quentin State Prison in California, there's a place of worship for everyone -- a Protestant chapel, a Jewish synagogue, a Catholic church, a mosque and what's called the San Quentin Indian Reservation, where many of the American Indian inmates go every Saturday for a traditional sweat ceremony.