In case you've never seen where San Quentin is...Just north of San Francisco...
SAN QUENTIN, Calif. — It's some of the most prized waterfront land in the country, a large piece of rich and beautiful property sitting right on San Francisco Bay, and the owner has proposed selling it to raise needed cash. But many of the current residents don't want to leave, and uprooting them would be costly.
The property in question is San Quentin , a maximum-security penitentiary where some of the state's toughest inmates have access to a variety of programs such as tennis and drama, thanks to the many prison volunteers who live in the Bay Area.
"Some places you go for punishment," said inmate John Taylor, a catcher for the prison baseball team, the San Quentin Giants. "Here, it's more rehabilitation. I just don't know why the governor would want to shut us down."
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed selling the 432-acre prison and several other state-owned properties and using the proceeds to help ease the state's $24.3 billion budget deficit.
It is widely assumed that any buyer would be interested primarily in the land. Developers might tear down all or some of the prison to make way for condos or other projects.
Taylor, who is 35 and serving up to life for murder, had done nearly 10 years in three other state prisons before he asked for a transfer to San Quentin two years ago.
The prison is a collection of buildings constructed during the Gold Rush, including some with fanciful, fortress-like touches such as the crenellations normally seen on medieval castles. There are also more modern, square buildings.
Taylor's duties include fighting weeds in the courtyard.