Clinton Truman Duffy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Clinton Duffy)
Jump to: navigation, search

Clinton Truman Duffy (1898 – 1982) was the warden of San Quentin State Prison between 1940 and 1952.[1] He was a prominent opponent of capital punishment.[1]


His father was a guard at San Quentin, he was raised on the prison grounds, and his wife's father was also a San Quentin guard.[1]

The 1954 film Duffy of San Quentin tells his story as a warden.[2][3] His accomplishments during his tenure as warden include:[1][4]

  • Elimination of corporal punishment
  • Improvement of food services
  • Establishment of vocational training
  • Founding of an Alcoholics Anonymous program
  • Desegregation of the dining hall
  • Creation of the first prisoner-developed radio programs inside a prison
  • Inauguration of a prison newspaper

He was known to walk unarmed among the prisoners and to chat with them.[1][4] Although he "supervised 90 executions during his tenure as warden," he opposed capital punishment.[1]

After he left San Quentin, he worked for the state's parole board; in addition, he wrote books and gave lectures about capital punishment.[1] He died in Walnut Creek, California at the age of 84.[1]


  • Duffy, Clinton T., and Dean Southern Jennings. The San Quentin story. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1950.
  • Duffy, Clinton T. 88 men and 2 women. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1962.
  • Duffy, Clinton T., and Al Hirshberg. Sex and crime. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1965.
  • Duffy, Clinton T., and Eva Irene Linkletter. From heroin to San Quentin. Morro Bay, CA: Java Books, 1977.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Blake, Gene (1982-10-14). "Famed warden Duffy of San Quentin dead at 84". Los Angeles Times. 
  2. ^ Duffy of San Quentin (1954) on Internet Movie Database
  3. ^ Crowther, Bosley. "Duffy of San Quentin (1954)". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-01-11. 
  4. ^ a b "Mister San Quentin". Time Magazine. 1952-01-07. Retrieved 2009-01-12. 

External links[edit]