Death Row, California
the whole point to life and human existance is self improvement through
the seeking of knowledge and wisdom that knowledge brings everybody has
the god given right to learn if they so choose.
Sadly, for the condemned prisoners
housed at San Quentin State Prison in California however, no
educational programs are provided by the state.
Towards that end I am seeking like
minded individuals who are willing to invest in my educational and
spiritual growth, people willing to help me to become a better and more
Below you will find a list of books I
would like to read but have so far been unable to procure for lack of
BOOK LIST :
1. The Case For Democracy - Nathan
2. God's Politics - Jim Wallace
3. Confessions of An Economic Hitman
- John Perkins
4. The End of Poverty - Jeffery Sachs
5. Smart Mob - Howard Rindgold
If you would like to play a positive
role towards my growth and development, you may do so by ordering these
texts two at a time in paperback (only) form and have the vendor /
distributor mail them directly to me at :
Christopher J Sattlewhite
PO Box H 60700
San Quentin State Prison
San Quentin California
Or you may purchase hardcover books
which I can recieve only through my attorney at
Christopher J Sattlewhite
c/o Mr Peter Hensley
Attorney At Law
2022 Cliff Drive # 382
Santa Barbara California
if hardcover books are sent to me at
this latter address, there are no limitations on the number of books
you may send - I will recieve them. Barnes and Noble.com is the only
approved internet book vendor allowed by the prison.
Your kindness and genorosity in this
matter is very much appreciated.
Christopher J Sattlewhite
A WRITING BY CHRISTOPHER SATTLEWHITE
Incarceration has provided me with
the time and opportunity to mature, both emotionally and
intellectually, to look within and become better able to take those
steps necessary to amend many of my shortcomings. Never did I think
that one day I would find myself looking out at the world through the
perforated steel covered bars of a cell and cyclone / bar covered
windows, much less doing it as a death row inmate in San Quentin.
As a child my hopes were simple, to
be successful so I could live the Great American Dream I had heard so
much about. Yet here I am, awaiting my possible execution with
shattered dreams, uncertain what the future will bring. I began life
believing my hopes were possible and even now, I find my heart hopeful.
Still, I am filled with doubt. My belief is that many, if not most,
children grow up with some of those same hopes and dreams -- yet there
are exceptions - as you will see.
Living in an economically rich and
stable nation where everyone is given the chance to thrive and succeed,
where opportunities abound for even the lowest of classes to climb the
social and financial ladder, there still remains the inescapable fact
that environment shapes community. The poverty stricken and lower
middle class continue to be looked upon with mistrust, disdain and even
outright animosity. Environment and social conditions shape behavior so
those of the upper classes tend not to offer those of lower class the
same choices and opportunities as they would afford to one of their
Choices and opportunities for the
poor are very limited, if not outright nonexistant, and the development
and vehaviorial conduct for a child growing up in these conditions are
predicated by his or her surroundings and social structure....However,
there are at times those who, against all odds and social / economical
obstacles, rise above their environmental stricutes to become socially
and financially successful - class limitations notwithstanding - even
becoming successful citizens leading productive lives.
As children most of us are taught the
basis of right and wrong, becoming easily capable of making intelligent
decisions later based on sound values and judgement. Others less
fortunate in education, upbringing, and social standing either never
learn to choose the best course for themselves from not being taught
properly, or at all, or grow to allow their decisions to be dictated by
The capitalist society in which we
live measures ones class, social standing and success, or failure by
the amount of accumulated financial wealth and material possessions.
The emphasis on the importance of of proportion of wealth teaches
misplaced and misleading values to our children, especially the ones
growing up in the poorer communities who are less fortunate than even
those of the lower middle class.
With this being said, the belief that
a person of low or non-class standing can become successful at
achieving the American Dream is both true and lie : The intent is that
anybody who tries may achieve financial success. The reality however is
that those of lesser means and standing cannot do so easily, if at all,
are even precluded from doing so simply because they are poor or have
been given the social stigma of classlessness or are stereotyped as
being from a crime prevalant area, so are looked upon with wariness or
The criminal justice system needs to
direct less attention and resources on solving its social concience by
locking up its citizens, and more on establishing effective prevention
and rehabilitiation through educational and informational programs.
Violence accounts of a small percentage of crimes committed, though
state and federal agencies would like the public to believe otherwise -
most often during election years.
Politicians often use crime
prevention and harsher criminal laws and sentencing as their platform,
playing upon the fears of society simply as an expedient means to an
end : Advancement of their own political careers. Other topics used for
the sake of political expediency include health and welfare reform, tax
breaks, affirmative action, and education. None of these politically
expedient platform topics address the issues which are most deserving
of attention. Other than the implementation of new taxes or the raising
of existing ones, and or cuts in education, the status quo remains
relatively unchanged - the public blind to the truth.
The State of California has
approximately thirty three (33)correctional facilities and an annual
working budget that greatly exceeds that of the public school systems,
A society that opts for short term remedies over the investiture of
available resources into long term solutions, which would cut deep into
the root of the problem, is a failed society one unconcerned with
bettering its citizens - though the politicians give lip service to
doing or wanting to do just that.
The courts have seen fit to imprison
a very large portion of societys population within various state
institutional facilities, most of whom possess a wide range of physical
skills, many even being gifted with artistic, musical and other
intellectual talents : Sketch artists and painters, writers of prose
and poetry, and so on, all relegted to a status of non persons. A
surprisingly large percentage of these men and women who are victims of
the court's mercy (or lack therof) have spent their incarceration
wisely by seeking to better themselves; improving upon their education
by availing themselves with what few educatonal and or religious
programs are available within the prison walls; maturing emotionally
and intellectually until they are no longer the thoughtless,
uneducated, irreligious or impulsive people they were before that
caused them to commit the crimes for which segregated them from
society. (It is a sad and lamentable fact that some of them are in fact
innocent of the offenses for which they were convicted - implausible as
it sounds, nevertheless it is true).
These persons, once "improved" should
be allowed a chance to reintegrate back into society as productive
members, rather than continue being held at taxpayers expense, locked
away out of sight and out of mind. (If you can't see them there isn't a
problem, right?) Should all prisoners be unwilling recipients of the
punishment necessitated for the actions of the recidivist few?
Apparantely so, since the system seems to care more for this money
generating filling of bed space, than the rehabilitation of existing
prisoners who have struggled to improve themselves.
These incarcerated persons need not
suffer under excessively harsh laws designed to curb recidivism, if the
state were to provide services like educational and social programs to
its denizens. If your family members got caught up in the jaws of the
judicial system, wouldn't you want them to have more of an opportunity
for early release because they had spent their time wisely
rehabilitating themselves with special programs, rather than a sop to
the unknowing public ? Wouldn't you want them to have a better chance
of being released, to come home to you and once home, to stay home?
The greater share of people voting to
enact / impose harsher criminal laws and sentencing generally do so out
of an emotional rather than an intellectual perspective. Yet, those
same voters tend to become among the staunchest and most vociferous
opposers of harsher criminal laws and sentencing when a member of their
family gets caught up under those same grinding wheels of the legal
system as criminals.
It can happen to anyone, even you; not all "criminals" become so by
choice or planning. What you vote for today with emotion guidng your
decisions can one day come back around to haunt you tomorrow! Vote
concientiously and with knowledge aforehand, consider the possibility
that your vote for harsher criminal laws and sentencing and other penal
issues will have long range consequences. Consider, also, how your vote
may affect the men and women already in or perhaps soon to be in the
penal system - and how you would feel if it were you - or a loved one,
being the target of the laws you voted to enact.
It could happen, "circumstances" having a tendency to befall
unexpectedly, and caring for a persons identity or social status.
embraces, I trust that this letter find all that reads it existing
within a state of strong health and well being. As for myself Just
existing in the land of the forgotten and forget, trying to maintain my
sanity ! Which is a daily challenge coming from variest of angles,
levels, and people (at liberty and incarcerated). Nevertheless, the
challenges are a basis for my strength - to continue forward another
day, behind these prison walls, called THE HOUSE OF PAIN.
me give you a brief description of myself! i'm 5'10", wt 180, brown
eyes, light complection from Ventura California and seeking to
establish a bridge of friendship out there in society - so I speculate
that if you are reading this ad 'you will allow this isolated man to
become a friend..."
in need of communcating with a person who ? knows the word of
friendship truly means, and not complicate matters with fantasies and
lies. Considering I have experience the road of broken promises and
am a victim twice, once by the fact of my incarceration and all the
rightwing politicians. Two the non concern from the people of the human
race. I guess! I just ave not had the opportunity of meeting that
caring individual who is willing to take the chance and challenge of
writing a man of flesh and bone, feelings and emotions.
all make mistakes in life; just that mines was a costly one.
Nevertheless I forge through this daily chaos, I must endure! ! !
prefer to correspond with an individual between the age of thirty five
and older. However any correspondence is welcomed.
I have written all that I can say at this time, anything else would be
Askari Jafar Muhommed
PO Box H 60700
San Quentin State Prison
San Quentin California
The CCADP offers free webpages to over 500 Death Row Prisoners
Contact us for more information.
"The Eyes Of The World Are Watching Now"
was last updated October 16, 2005
Canadian Coalition Against the
This page is maintained and
updated by Dave Parkinson and Tracy Lamourie in Toronto, Canada