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T.R.U.S.T. Fellows
Kathleen Jackson with T.R.U.S.T. Members

History of T.R.U.S.T.

Philip Senegal, T.R.U.S.T Vice Chairman

In January of 2003, local media reported that the increase of violence in the communities of Oakland, was the direct result of inmates being released from San Quentin Prison.

When the Warden of San Quentin, Jennie S. Woodford, heard the announcement on local news, she took responsibility to address these issues of violence in the city of Oakland.   She partnered with Dr. Garry Mendez, Jr., the founder of the National T.R.U.S.T., (located in the state of New York). A program was developed to train lifers to mentor and prepare short term inmates to become positive and contributing members of society.


To develop a group of “T.R.U.S.T. Fellows”, the San Quentin Chapter of the National T.R.U.S.T., then recruited 25 men from its prison population for training.


Upon completion of intensive sessions with Dr. Mendez, the T.R.U.S.T. Fellows were recognized as mentors within the prison community. Based on evidence of positive changes and behavior in their lives, The T.R.U.S.T. would later be designated by the prison administration as an official organization within San Quentin in December of 2003.


The San Quentin T.R.U.S.T was created as a re-socialization program designed to transform incarcerated men from social liabilities into assets. Improving on pro-social values while cultivating self-awareness and personal responsibility which is also geared towards families and communities. T.R.U.S.T. Fellows are consistently committed to improving their communities both inside and outside the walls of the prison.

Current Officials:


Ron Davis, Warden


Sam Robinson, Public Information Officer


Steve Emrick, Community Partnership Manager


Special Thanks and Acknowledgements:


As a gesture of good faith and great appreciation, the Members of today would like to acknowledge all who have provided ongoing support for change in the lives of so many. The San Quentin T.R.U.S.T. has long been supported by the past six Wardens: Woodford, Brown, Ayers, Cohen, Mertel and Chappelle, as well as our current Warden, Ron Davis. Additional support, past and present, has come from other staff associated with the prison: Lt. V.M. Crittendon, Lt. Sam Robinson, Capt. K.J. Williams, Officers Grent, Brown, Debra Wynn and Madeleine Tenney.

The T.R.U.S.T. Organization Today

Orlando Harris, T.R.U.S.T. Chairman

The T.R.U.S.T. is comprised of General Body membership and an Executive Committee. The General Body consists of approximately 20 men who have completed the nine month curriculum and have exhibited integrity and leadership within the San Quentin Community. Approximately 7 of the men in the General Body function as leaders of committees. Others participate in group facilitation and dissemination of the curriculum.


Our commitment to T.R.U.S.T. is two afternoons a week: Monday and Thursday.   The Executive Committee, members who serve as the officers of the T.R.U.S.T., are elected by the General Body. The Executive Committee meets on the first Monday of the month to discuss challenges, concerns and solutions to move the T.R.U.S.T. forward.  On the second Monday, the General Body Meeting is held to inform and bring the membership up to speed on any issues or news that is relevant. It is within the general body that the men debate and vote on pertinent issues. On the other Mondays, various committees are meeting to plan, coordinate and implement all the programs which operate under the umbrella of the T.R.U.S.T., such as the Health Fair and Graduation as well as workshop facilitation training.

All members are required to show up for workshops which are presented on Thursdays. T.R.U.S.T. is an organization which fosters rehabilitation through a variety of topics. It allows these men to model what it is to be leaders in the San Quentin community as well as helping the San Quentin community to reconnect to their authentic selves and change men from liabilities to assets!

Learn more about the workshops!

What We Do


Since 2004, T.R.U.S.T., an inmate rehabilitation program inside San Quentin, has provided incarcerated men with programs to turn their liabilities into assets through education, leadership training and community building. The goal of T.R.U.S.T. is to build a bridge of understanding and accountability between communities inside and outside of San Quentin. The leadership of T.R.U.S.T. consists of 20 men who, with the support of volunteers, create and implement all T.R.U.S.T. programs.

The heart of T.R.U.S.T. is the weekly education program, nine months in length, that covers a wide range of topics in order to teach life skills and promote accountability during incarceration and ultimately prepare men for life after prison.


The workshops are facilitated by the men and outside experts.  Each year we graduate 40 men from this program.  


T.R.U.S.T. also offers other programs:

  • Anger Management, taught in Spanish-this program is currently being updated to focus more directly on Domestic Violence

  • Health and Emotional Wellness-addresses early trauma

  • Project LA-provides preparation to men who will be paroling in the Los Angeles area regarding housing, employment and other services

  • San Quentin's Annual Health Fair, supported by the Alameda County Department of Public Health- brings in over 150 health professionals to provide preventative health services to over 2000 SQ men.  The Health Fair is planned and implemented by the members of T.R.U.S.T.


The newest T.R.U.S.T project is which was created to provide a bridge between the San Quentin T.R.U.S.T. and the outside community.

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