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San Quentin State Prison (SQ) - California Topic and discussion specific to San Quentin State Prison located in San Quentin, California.

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  #1  
Old 02-04-2007, 10:44 AM
repami repami is offline
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Hello,

Just wanted to write about my visit in Nov. '06 to San Quentin to see a friend on Death Row. Thought it might help anyone who is yet to visit for the first time! I travelled to SQ by bus from San Francisco, where I was staying. It took about an hour and a half with the transfer and cost just over $4. Pretty good!
When I arrived at about 8.40am there were about 8 visitors waiting to go through security, but they were all for the 9am visitation whereas mine was at 10am. If you already have a visit scheduled you just wait on one side, while if you've just turned up on the day, you queue on the other side. There is a poster on the wall showing the colours and types of clothing that are not allowed for visitors and there are also lockers for visitors to use. This is because you are only allowed to take money (in a clear purse) and maybe 1 or 2 other personal items -I can't remember what- in with you. The lockers take quarters, NON returnable!

While I was there waiting at least 3 people got turned away because of clothing issues. One woman was because she had grey thread down the side of her black jeans! It REALLY is worth having a change of items with you, just in case. You can leave them in your car, or a locker.
You can only take quarters or one dollar bills in to the visitation, but there is a change machine in the office to use.

After your details have been checked you walk through a metal detector and then have to walk along a path ouside to the respective building your visit takes place in. It all takes about 5-10mins from initial office to the visiting area. Once through to the Visitation area, you hand in your ID at the hatch and that's about it. Everybody rushes to get refreshments (for the person they're visiting and themselves) from the vending machines. You have to do this before the inmate comes through to the Visitation, so I guess people don't want to waste any time with their friend/family member. Also, it seems that once items are bought from the vending machines, they're not necessarily re-stocked, so first come -first served as it were! There are also microwaves to heat up some of the food, and this all takes time out of the visit.
The visit itself takes place in 'cage-like' areas but a fair bit has already been said elsewhere in the forum about that. The cages are joined together so you are adjoining the cage of the people next to you.
I had a GREAT visit with my friend and all in all I found the atmosphere friendly and fairly relaxed. I don't have a family member incarcerated so I'm nowhere near as informed as some members, but if you have questions please feel free to ask! C.
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  #2  
Old 02-07-2007, 09:21 AM
sharonno1 sharonno1 is offline
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glad you had a great visit san rafael is a lot nearer to the prison than san francisco to stay its only 7 min by cab
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Old 02-07-2007, 02:41 PM
repami repami is offline
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Thanks! I will stay in San Rafael next time, it's much easier. I was in SF for 3 days before the visit, so just decided to stay put for the extra day. If I get an earlier visit next time (ie 9am/9.30am) I'd definitely stay closer. Thanks Sharon.
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Old 02-07-2007, 09:38 PM
weekend weekend is offline
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Repami,

I found your post very helpful to alot of Newbies.. I am sure there are many, many that do not post but will find your information very enlightening.
Blessings,

Weekend gal-
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Old 02-08-2007, 12:39 AM
Schmusi34 Schmusi34 is offline
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I always stay in SF because I found the accommadation much cheaper. 15$ a night.
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Old 02-14-2007, 01:18 PM
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Smelly Smelly is offline
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The cab ride from San Rafael would probably cost more then the bus from San Francisco. Id stick with the bus.
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Old 02-15-2007, 06:37 AM
sharonno1 sharonno1 is offline
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cab fare from san rafael to sq is 9 dollars
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