History of CCWP & Charisse Shumate: Fighting for Our Lives Film

California Coalition for Women Prisoners was founded in May 1995 after women prisoners filed a lawsuit, Shumate v. Wilson, regarding the horrible medical care that women prisoners in California receive. Founding members of CCWP were made up of women and trans prisoners, former prisoners and supporters.
CCWP fue fundada en Mayo de 1995 después de que un grupo de mujeres prisioneras encausaran una acción legal, Shumate vs Wilson, en relación al horrible cuidado de salud que las mujeres en prisión sufrían en California. Las miembras fundadoras de CCWP fueron las mismas mujeres y transexuales en prisión, ex-presas y personas que apoyan esta lucha.
Charisse Shumate: Fighting for Our Lives
This 37-minute video was created in collaboration with the Freedom Archives and focuses on the life of Charisse Shumate and people in California prisons for women. It includes amazing prison interviews as well as materials from State Senate hearings on conditions for prisoners in the California State Prison System and historical video footage of Charisse and her family.
You can watch the film in streaming video by clicking here (best for Windows PC users).
For more information on the film, click here.


Banner tied to the fence of a prison reading 'Stop the murder of women prisoners - Health Care Now - CCWP'Members of the Coalition in Support of Women Prisoners at Chowchilla, several individuals and representatives of other community organizations as well as women prisoners at the two prisons came together because we knew that lawsuits are not won solely in courtrooms, but also through public opinion and activism.
We have held demonstrations in Chowchilla, California, the home of the two largest women’s prisons in the world, at the California Department of Corrections in San Francisco, and at the Federal Courthouse in Sacramento. We have fought for compassionate release of women prisoners who are dying of AIDS and other terminal illnesses. We have demanded justice for battered women who are doing prison time because they have attempted to defend themselves and their families against batterers and abusers. We also fight against sexual assault and abuse by guards on prisoners. Our newsletter, The Fire Inside, comes out approximately four times per year.
Central to our work are the visits, letters and telephone conversations that we have between members of our organization on the outside with members of our organization on the inside.