Back in October, we wrote a Community Member Profile about Alton McSween (a.k.a. “Coach”), our professional mentor and dear friend. And if you happened to tune into radio station 94.1 KPFA at 7:00 a.m. this morning, you would have caught an extraordinary interview with Coach about his transition from San Quentin to living and working in Berkeley, Oakland and challenges and joys of reentry in the Berkeley community. He also speaks to his feelings about the 3 Strikes Law passed in 1996, his feelings on why punitive and draconian laws do not serve as a deterrent to criminal behavior, and why “the penalty should fit the crime.”
You can access the interview with Coach here: www.kpfa.org/archive/id/98844 (beginning at minute 33).
As a refresher, Coach was released from San Quentin prison in April 2013 after petitioning for release under the Three Strikes Reform Act (“Prop 36”), which passed in 2012 in California. His life passion is reentry work and criminal justice reform. Nowadays, you may find Coach at work as a Case Manager and Program Coordinator for the California Reentry Institute; volunteering at the Options Recovery Services’ Saturday car wash; or lecturing at a top-tier law school, sharing his wisdom about the California criminal justice system and reentry work alongside the California District Attorney, judges, lawyers, and other field leaders.
Lucky to know you and work beside you, Coach!
—The R & R Team