Steele Shares New Photos of California’s Prisoner Firefighters

[ Posted: Oct 22, 2020 ]


Second chances are rare, but they do happen from time to time. In California, a state that has recently been (and is currently being) subject to numerous wildfires, good behavior prison inmates get a chance to receive firefighter training and act as hand crews for fire camps. Oftentimes, they’re the first team on the scene of a fire.

Photographer Kevin Steele recently got a chance to follow some of these crews and capture their contribution to putting out the seemingly endless wildfires. He quotes one of the crew members: “When you look in the mirror when you’re incarcerated, you see the words written on your shirt that say ‘prisoner’…it generates a sense of worthlessness…but when you’re a prisoner firefighter there’s a sense of redemption. You’re getting thanked. Somebody’s calling you a hero.”

Earlier in September, the California legislature passed a bill that will allow nonviolent inmates who have been working on the fire crew to have their records completely wiped once released and pursue a career in firefighting.

In sharing the photos, Kevin sent out a “thank you to the heroes fighting on the frontlines of this record wildfire season.”

You can read more about the prisoner firefighter crews in Kevin’s latest Instagram posts right here.



Steele Shares New Photos of California’s Prisoner Firefighters
[ Copyright ©Kevin Steele ]

Steele Shares New Photos of California’s Prisoner Firefighters
[ Copyright ©Kevin Steele ]

Steele Shares New Photos of California’s Prisoner Firefighters
[ Copyright ©Kevin Steele ]

Steele Shares New Photos of California’s Prisoner Firefighters
[ Copyright ©Kevin Steele ]

Steele Shares New Photos of California’s Prisoner Firefighters
[ Copyright ©Kevin Steele ]

Steele Shares New Photos of California’s Prisoner Firefighters
[ Copyright ©Kevin Steele ]

Steele Shares New Photos of California’s Prisoner Firefighters
[ Copyright ©Kevin Steele ]

Steele Shares New Photos of California’s Prisoner Firefighters
[ Copyright ©Kevin Steele ]

Related Links

- Kevin Steele's Altpick Portfolio

- Kevin Steele's Instagram Page