Reporter's notebook: A long night's wait at Salinas Valley Prison

Soledad, CA – When your son is in prison for life, every minute on visiting day counts. Outside Salinas Valley State Prison in Soledad, hundreds of mothers, wives, fathers and friends start lining up early, many spending the cold night in their vehicles. They do this so they can be among the first to get inside when the gates open at 7:30 in the morning.
It's an ordeal few outside this life know much about. But while working on her recent radio series on life sentences, Monterey Herald reporter Julie Reynolds got to spend a morning with one woman as she waited to see her son.
She filed this reporter's notebook for KAZU. For more stories and photos from Julie Reynold's Lifers Series go to The Monterey County Herald website