Meet Shadeed “Sha” Wallace-Stepter, a media producer making waves in the creative world. Wallace-Stepter, who spent nearly 20 years in prison, is now using the skills he honed during his incarceration to inspire others to succeed.
Wallace-Stepter is known for producing numerous audio and video projects as part of San Quentin State Prison’s media center and Re:Store Justice First Watch multimedia program, but his accomplishments didn’t stop there. He served as chair of the Society of Professional Journalists San Quentin branch, was lead facilitator for First Step Curriculum, which focused on childhood trauma, and was the vice-chair of Kid CAT, a rehabilitative program focused on those who committed their crimes as juveniles. In 2016, he curated TEDx San Quentin, where he also gave a motivational talk about entrepreneurship and the power of transformative thinking.
In August 2018, Governor Jerry Brown took notice of Wallace-Stepter’s work, and granted him a commutation. As a free man, Wallace-Stepter has not forgotten those still incarcerated working toward freedom, and uses his skills to create inspiring and educational content.
In this video, Wallace-Stepter shares his thoughts on public misconceptions about people in prison, and how CDCR and the criminal justice system as a whole are shifting toward rehabilitation and second chances.
Video by Rob Stewart, TV Specialist, OPEC
with additional footage from First Watch
Watch the YouTube video (may not play on a CDCR computer).
Read more rehabilitation stories.