As Founder of Humane Prison Hospice Project, Valley Forge Native Brings Dignity to Death Behind Bars

woman sitting cross-legged
Image via The Santa Rosa (Calif.) Press Democrat.
Sandy Fish.

Valley Forge native Sandy Fish has dedicated a good part of her life to increasing access to death with dignity for inmates. Emily Wilder, of The Santa Rosa (Calif.) Press Democrat, covered Fish’s outreach, the Humane Prison Hospice Project.

In most cases, people in prisons die alone and without palliative care.

Fish, who witnessed firsthand the healing power of supporting someone on their deathbed through a friend who died from cancer, wants to change that.

“I can’t stand it,” she said. “It kills me that they are dying in cells, in cells that are so small we won’t let dogs be kept in them.”

Now, she has made it her mission to help bring dignity to death behind bars.

The 60-year-old grandmother founded the Humane Prison Hospice Project in 2016. She works to train incarcerated people in San Quentin State Prison (she is now a California resident) on end-of-life care.

Her goal is to provide people in San Quentin, and ultimately all California prisons, with the tools to help them care for one another as they die of terminal illness and old age.

Read more about Sandy Fish in The Santa Rosa (Calif.) Press Democrat.