Phair Corey was one of the Stanford students arrested during the demonstrations, sit-ins and lie-ins at the Oakland Induction Center in October, 1967. She and five other Stanford coeds ended up serving time at the Alameda County Correction Center in Santa Rita, as reported in The Stanford Daily article reproduced below.
After completing her undergraduate education, Phair became a medical doctor, but passed away at the young age of thirty.
At 6:15 Saturday mornings at the corner of Embarcadero and El Camino in Palo Alto six Stanford coeds can be seen leaving for their weekend jaunt.
But they are not going to some secluded mountain cabin or to a beach-side bungalow. Their destination is Alameda County correction center at Santa Rita near Pleasanton. The six coeds are serving five weekends for convictions stemming from the recent anti-draft demonstrations in Oakland.
The girls must arrive at the Jail by 8 a.m. Saturday. If they do not get there on time, there will be a 10 to 30 day penalty for the latecomers. As a precaution, the cars travelling in the caravan to Pleasanton stay together so help will be immediately available if one breaks down.
The "convicts" get out 6 p.m. Sundays.
The girls, Phair Corey, Sue Haley, Mary Hanson, Mary Heers, Dawn Meyners, and Deborah Weiner, can take only three textbooks with them. Everything else is supplied by the prison, including gown-like uniforms of denim.
Sue Haley, a junior in biology, said prison life "really wasn't as bad as I had expected." Though they sleep in long dormitory halls with twenty "little cots" along each wall, the girls spoke fondly of the weeping willows and roses in the prison yard.
During the week prisoners have regular gardening and housekeeping chores. But the "week-enders" have a great deal of the time for themselves. They do have to wash dishes, but this takes only "about forty minutes of your time."
The girls could spend the rest of the time reading, but there are conversations going on. The small library at Santa Rita is described by one girl as "pretty bad."
The convicted protesters were originally kept separate from the other inmates of the jail complex, but singer Joan Baez appealed successfully to the authorities to mix everyone. Miss Baez helped create a relaxed atmosphere in the complex, one Stanford girl observed, through her efforts to talk with the other inmates and through her singing.
Prison authorities frowned on the singing, however, and frequently asked Baez to do small chores like cleaning out the deputy's office. "It got so she was cleaning out that office ten times a day," sophomore Dawn Meyners said
On the whole if the girls seem busy, the officials leave them alone.
The other inmates are "mostly Negroes in for heroin charges," one girl told The Daily. Others are serving time for prostitution as well as convictions. Most are in for short terms, usually under six months.
Inmates have to line up to be counted about four times a day. But according to Miss Meyners, who was picturing a jail "much older and with lice," the building and the routine are not odious. "It’s really surprising how much of your time is taken up with sweeping," she said, "But you really don't have to work very hard."
The regular inmates are well aware of this fact, she said. Miss Haley added, "I expected the inmates to be much more hostile than they turned out to be."
"Everybody should go to jail," Sue Haley said. She called the prison life a "very valuable experience."
The girls chose to spend five weekends in jail instead of five days largely because some did not want to miss classes. The judge at their sentencing Oct. 17 had offered them the option but they had to decide which to do as a group.
And since the male defendants were being offered a 10 days or five weekends choice, the girls decided to make the punishment equal regardless of sex. "So much else in this whole thing was so unequal," one of them remarked, "that it seemed the right thing to do at the time."
The reactions of the girls' parents to their jail sentences were diverse. One girl's parents who were "pretty upset" flew up to Stanford to talk to her about what she had done. 'They're trying to be sympathetic although their views are conservative," said. She has chosen to take a leave of absence for the rest of the quarter so she can "work some of these things out."
Senior music major Deborah Weiner's parents were proud of her for her actions, she said. "They support me in this. I'm lucky."
Sophomore Dawn Meyners also termed herself fortunate. "I really have fantastic parents," she said. "I think they were really very pleased." Miss Meyner's father has been active in demonstrations and has been in jail. But her grandmother, she says, has cut her off.
The Stanford coeds may not get much studying done in jail, but they do not express regret for their actions in Oakland during the demonstrations. For one girl the conviction upset all her plans for the quarter, but others seem to be taking the whole thing in stride.
The prison's an amazing place," Miss Meyners said. "It's really a very close community and a great practical experience in group dynamics—the most constructive way I could possibly be spending my weekends."
“Draft Protesters Serve Jail Time, by Christopher Hargrove, The Stanford Daily, Volume 152, Issue 22, 23 October 1967. Link
“Coeds Find Jail Rewarding,” by Dan Snell, The Stanford Daily, Volume 152, Issue 27, 30 October 1967. Link