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Patrick, 56
Released after 37 years

I am one of the many incarcerated Humans of San Quentin. I have been in for 37 years for the Second Degree murder of an associate whom I, at another time in my life sold Marijuana with. Six weeks ago, I was found suitable for parole for that crime. Although I am extremely relieved that part of my life can now be redeemed, there is another part of me that grew up here, matured and learned to actually care for others. My heart and personal commitment to the inmate population and community behind these walls as a peer mentor, health educator and facilitator remains genuine, grounded in acceptance and respect. It has become ‘my something’ I am passionate about. I pledge my allegiance to the education of others for the understanding of health and personal well-being, through a self help, self-health style of communication and promotion.

In 1998, I graduated from the Infectious Disease Requisite for Peer Health Education in Solano State Prison. For the last 21 years, I have been learning, teaching classes, facilitating and strengthening my knowledge as a peer mentor and health educator.

The real story here is not about me, it’s about being aware of how family, community and culture shapes one’s values, beliefs and actions, then how that plays into behavior choices.

Being empowered with the information to protect our own health benefits one personally, and extends to the community behind the wall and eventually to society upon one’s release back home. In the Peer Health Education Program our motto is: Your Health Is Your Wealth, regardless of your sexuality, ethnic, racial, cultural or regional background. Developing skills for making healthy choices ranks supreme, and is an important step in becoming aware of others So yes, parole will be amazing, however this work must continue in our post-pandemic world and I am here to be consciously proactive. Here in San Quentin we lost all of our self-help programs and the sponsors that facilitate those programs. “Peer Health” lost its outside sponsorship, resources and facilitators. I have been able to float the program with the very helpful and dedicated assistance of Diane Kahn and Lt. Sam Robinson. It is my hope to return to SQ as a free outside facilitator and sponsor to reignite its mission after the all clear bell is sounded. Please join me.

Fletcher freed after 37 years

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