In response to another preventable and tragic death, advocates at the California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP) are reaching out to ally organizations in the Bay to call further attention to the ongoing crisis occurring at California Institution for Women (CIW). CIW is at 130 percent capacity and has a suicide rate that is 8 times the national average for people in women’s prisons, and 5 times the rate for all California prisons. We will be holding a Town Hall on Sunday, July 31st at the Eastside Arts Alliance in Oakland and want to invite your organization to endorse and be part of it.
The injustice and conditions of abuse and violence at CIW are happening inside and outside of prison walls across the country. Too often, lives are being lost to state violence and the majority of lives stolen are Black and Brown, queer and transgender. At CIW, people are dying as a result of direct neglect by cops, and from medical and mental health neglect. Outside, women are being killed by police. In 2013, Kayla Moore, a Black trans woman was killed by the Berkeley police in her home. On May 19, 2016, a Black woman named Jessica Nelson Williams was killed by San Francisco police in the Bayview neighborhood. There are no shortage of examples of punishing people and communities who have survived generations of racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia with policing, incarceration and neglect.
Just a few weeks ago Shaylene Graves, a 27 year old Black woman, died from this state violence. She was six weeks away from her release. Before Shaylene, Erika Rocha committed suicide. Erika was 35 years old and had been incarcerated for 21 years. She was one day away from her Youth Parole Hearing. Last November, five people at the CCWF women’s prison were physically abused, sexually harassed and placed in solitary confinement by prison guards. They are planning to bring a suit against the CDCR.
Legal advocates with CCWP are working with and supporting survivors inside and family members outside to get much needed attention and support to those suffering behind these walls. We are reaching out to you because more needs to be done.
We hope that the Town Hall Meeting on Sunday, July 31st, 2016 from 3-5pm at the East Side Arts Alliance can help us connect these struggles and bring more attention to the ongoing crisis at CIW. We hope that you will endorse the event, share the information with your networks and come to Eastside Arts Alliance on July 31st. To endorse the town hall, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join us in demanding justice for Shaylene, Erika and all lives stolen by the CDCR and the police. BRING OUR LOVED ONES HOME ALIVE!
California Coalition for Women Prisoners