STOP THE CONVERSION OF VALLEY STATE PRISON FOR WOMEN TO A MEN’S PRISON: FINAL PETITION READY TO SIGN

February 16, 2012
http://www.change.org/petitions/cas-gov-brown-cdcr-secretary-matthew-cate-judge-t-henderson-stop-the-conversion-of-valley-state-prison-from-a-womens-to-a-mens-prison
You may have already signed and that’s great. We have modified the wording and included the complete joint statement from people inside both women’s prisons in Chowchilla, CA.
Please pass it on and reply if your organization wants to be listed as an endorser.
Currently there are over 2,650 women and transgender prisoners housed at VSPW. Instead of releasing thousands who are eligible to go home, CDCR is planning to transfer them to the Central California Women’s Facility (159% over capacity) and California Institution for Women (139% over capacity.)
Our communities have endured and suffered forced removals and relocations of people openly and under false pretexts for generations. Even though no prison is where anyone wants to or needs to be, closing and moving women out of this one is yet another uprooting to the detriment, and against the will of, people rendered powerless and whose humanity is disregarded.

STOP THE CONVERSION OF VALLEY STATE PRISON FOR WOMEN TO A MEN’S PRISON: FINAL PETITION READY TO SIGN

February 16, 2012
http://www.change.org/petitions/cas-gov-brown-cdcr-secretary-matthew-cate-judge-t-henderson-stop-the-conversion-of-valley-state-prison-from-a-womens-to-a-mens-prison
You may have already signed and that’s great. We have modified the wording and included the complete joint statement from people inside both women’s prisons in Chowchilla, CA.
Please pass it on and reply if your organization wants to be listed as an endorser.
Currently there are over 2,650 women and transgender prisoners housed at VSPW. Instead of releasing thousands who are eligible to go home, CDCR is planning to transfer them to the Central California Women’s Facility (159% over capacity) and California Institution for Women (139% over capacity.)
Our communities have endured and suffered forced removals and relocations of people openly and under false pretexts for generations. Even though no prison is where anyone wants to or needs to be, closing and moving women out of this one is yet another uprooting to the detriment, and against the will of, people rendered powerless and whose humanity is disregarded.

A Call to Survivors of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence to Share Their Stories

This is a call for writings by survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence
ANTHOLOGY CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS:
Working Title: Challenging Convictions: Survivors of Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Writing on Solidarity with Prison Abolition.
Completed submissions due: April 15, 2012.
Like much prison abolition work, the call for this anthology comes from frustration and hope: frustration with organizers against sexual assault and domestic violence who treat the police as a universally available and as a good solution; frustration with prison abolitionists who only use ?domestic violence? and ?rape? as provocative examples; and, frustration with academic discussions that use only distanced third-person case studies and statistics to talk about sexual violence and the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC). But, this project also shares the hope and worth of working toward building communities without prisons and without sexual violence. Most importantly, it is anchored in the belief that resisting prisons, domestic violence, and sexual assault are inseparable.
Organizers of this anthology want to hear from survivors in conversation with prison abolition struggles. We are interested in receiving submissions from survivors who are/have been imprisoned, and survivors who have not. Both those survivors who have sought police intervention, as well as those who haven’t, are encouraged to submit. We are looking for personal essays and creative non-fiction from fellow survivors who are interested in discussing their unique needs in anti-violence work and prison abolitionism.
Discussions of sexual assault, domestic violence, police violence, prejudice within courts, and imprisonment cannot be separated from experiences of privilege and marginalization. Overwhelmingly people who are perceived to be white, straight, able-bodied, normatively masculine, settlers who are legal residents/citizens, and/or financially stable are not only less likely to experience violence but also less likely to encounter the criminal injustice system than those who are not accorded the privileges associated with these positions. At the same time, sexual assault and domestic violence support centers and shelters are often designed with certain privileges assumed. We are especially interested in contributions that explore how experiences of race, ability, gender, citizenship, sexuality, or class inform your understandings of, or interactions with cops, prisons, and sexual assault/domestic violence support.
Potential topics:
· What does justice look like to you?
· Perspectives on police and prisons as a default response to sexual assault
· What do you want people in the prison abolition movement with no first hand experiences of survivorship to know?
· How did you overcome depression/feelings of futility when dealing with these systems?
· Critical reflections on why the legal system has or has not felt like an option for you
· Perspectives on the cops/PIC participating in rape culture
· Restorative justice and other methods for responding to sexual violence outside of the PIC? (if you are a settler be conscious of appropriations of indigenous methods)
· How have you felt about conversations you?ve had about the PIC?
· How sexual assault inside and outside of the PIC is treated by organizers against sexual assault, domestic violence, and the PIC
· Police and prison guards as triggers
· Responding to sexual assault and domestic violence when communities weren?t there for you
· What the legal system offers survivors and what it doesn?t
· Rants at manarchists, the writers/directors of televised cop dramas, and communities that let you down
· Survivor shaming for reporting and for not reporting to police
Please submit first-person accounts, critical reflections, essays, and creative non-fiction to survivorsinsoli@gmail.com by April 15, 2012 with ?Submission? as the subject line.
Please:
· One submission per person;
· 12 point Times New Roman font;
· Submit as an attached document (.doc files preferred, no .pdfs);
· English language (American spelling);
· Pseudonyms welcomed, as are name changes in the written piece.
Early submissions are encouraged. First time authors encouraged.
If you have questions, we welcome emails to survivorsinsoli@gmail.com with ?Question? in the subject line. We are looking for both shorter pieces of writing and longer pieces, but if your piece is more than 20 pages consider sending us an email to run the idea by us.
Please attach a short biography that you are comfortable sharing with the editors (200 word max.). This is not about your credentials, but getting to know you and where you are coming from. All information you provide will be kept confidential.
About selection and editing: Submissions will be reviewed by a group of readers who will consider if and how each written piece could contribute to the finished project. Each piece will be read by at least two readers who will contribute to the decision to accept/reject/edit the piece. Some of us working on this project have been made to feel alone as both survivors and abolitionists. Some of us have managed to carve spaces within these communities. Now we are looking to open the conversation and hear from people we?ve never met, who have struggled to practice politics in a rape culture and police state. We believe that the needs of survivors matter in these movements, and we don?t need someone else to speak for us or about us as case studies and numbers. We want to hear from you.
For more information please visit: http://survivorsinsoli.blogspot.com/
If you have questions, directly contact survivorsinsoli@gmail.com with ?Question? in the subject line.
Please distribute widely.

Please Sign Prop 9 Petition- Do Not Sentence YOUTH to Life Without Parole!

The following is an E-mail sent to us by Gail Patrice:
Hi,
Right now, juveniles in California can be sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole. It is a sentence to die in prison. The US is the only country in the world that applies this punishment to youth under the age of 18.
Several hundred teens have been sentenced to life without parole in California. Under the current law, not one of them will ever have the opportunity to demonstrate that they have turned their lives around and can safely re-enter society.
If Senate Bill 9 is enacted, California will set up a strict process for a judge to examine these individuals? lives when they are older and determine if they are rehabilitated and remorseful. If so, they will then have a chance to earn parole after serving a minimum of 25 years.
We ask our legislators to pass this important bill during the upcoming vote.
That’s why I signed a petition to The California State House, which says:
“As a concerned Californian, I urge you to give youth the possibility of a second chance. Please pass Senate Bill 9.”
Will you sign this petition? Click here:
http://signon.org/sign/youth-deserve-a-second?source=s.em.mt&r_by=2444778
Thanks!

Tell Tom Ammiano to Repeal AB 900

San Francisco —
CALL and EMAIL Assemblyperson Tom Ammiano and demand an end to Prison and Jail expansion!


Right now, California residents are preparing for catastrophe as millions of dollars are being released through the notorious AB 900 legislation to be used to build more and bigger jails. We know more jails means more of our loved ones, coworkers, and neighbors locked up, and less resources for meaningful work, good schools, decent housing, and reliable healthcare.
Join CURB in demanding an end to the largest prison expansion project in world history. Help us pressure and encourage elected officials to take a stand against further devastation of our communities. We are encouraging San Francisco residents of Tom Ammiano’s district to call his office and strongly encourage him to listen to the people and repeal AB900.
By making use of our collective voice and power, we can lead the way in repealing this monstrous legislation.
We will begin burning up the phone lines and sending flurries of emails starting Friday, Feb. 10th and want to keep going strong through Friday, Feb. 17th!

Great Piece by Victoria Law on Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted People’s Movement

Criminal InJustice is a weekly series devoted to taking action against inequities in the U.S. criminal justice system. Nancy A. Heitzeg, Professor of Sociology and Race/Ethnicity, is the Editor of CI. Criminal Injustice is published every Wednesday at 6 pm CST.

We Demand the Right to Vote: The Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted People’s Movement Counters Voter Suppression
by Victoria Law

On Sunday, March 7, 1964, 600 civil rights activists attempted to march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, to protest the police murder of fellow demonstrator 26-year-old Jimmie Lee Jackson and to demand their rights. As the marchers crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge, they were brutally attacked by white state troopers, many of whom had been deputized that very morning. Seventeen marchers were hospitalized; the day became known as “Bloody Sunday.” After a federal district court issued a restraining order preventing a second march across the bridge, a third march was successfully organized and carried out. The bridge became a symbol of the Civil Rights struggle.

Nearly fifty years later, the dreams of the Civil Rights movement remain unfulfilled. Mass incarceration has replaced Jim Crow as a means of racial and social control: In the fall of 1965, in a special message to Congress, Lyndon B. Johnson declared a War on Crime: ?I hope that 1965 will be regarded as the year when this country began in earnest a thorough and effective war against crime.? In his 1973 State of the Union message, Richard Nixon vowed to continue and expand that war, linking the growing civil unrest to violent street crime. Reagan further intensified the amount of policing and prisons with his 1982 ?War on Drugs? launched three years before the 1985 emergence of crack cocaine. These “wars” came at a time when economic conditions were deteriorating, particularly in communities of color; both served to lock poor people, particularly poor people of color, away before they could organize and challenge social conditions and the social order.

On February 28, 2011, more than fifty formerly incarcerated people from around the country convened in Alabama. All had worked on issues affecting incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people in their respective states. Over the course of the weekend, attendees asked themselves and each other, “How do we bring people together and align people with the work that they’re doing individually from a collective perspective?”

The Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted People’s Movement emerged from this inaugural meeting. Its goal is to organize a national movement to restore formerly incarcerated people’s civil rights, halt prison expansion, demand an end to mass incarceration, eliminate prison abuses, and protect the dignity of family members and their communities. The organizers drew connections between the Civil Rights movement and their own movement for civil and human rights, illustrating the connection by walking across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

After returning to their home states, members of the Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted People’s Movement continued to build together. “We’ve held rallies and acknowledged prison actions. We’ve collectively held events on historic days. For instance, the War on Drugs was enacted on June 17, 1971. All of us held an event within our respective states around the War on Drugs. When the prisons in Georgia had their strike, we recognized that. We just recognized the fortieth anniversary of the Attica uprising. We’ve recognized the Pelican Bay hunger strike. We’ve recognized the common issues that people who have been incarcerated have stood up and fought against in building this movement. The commonalities in our collective actions have brought us together to end mass incarceration,” stated Tina Reynolds, co-chair of the NYC organization WORTH (Women on the Rise Telling HerStory), an organization of formerly and currently incarcerated women) and one of the original twenty people who began the discussion leading to the convening.

On November 2, 2011, the Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted People’s Movement held its second national gathering in Los Angeles. Over 270 people from twenty states converged for a one-day conference to share their experiences and vision and to strategize fighting against policies leading to racial profiling, gang labeling, inhumane sentencing, voter disenfranchisement and hiring discrimination. They learned about the issues, organizing, and, in some cases, successes in other states.

The conference included not only seasoned organizers, but also those who were new to prison justice organizing. “Pilar,” a formerly incarcerated woman, remembered that she had never before been in a public space with hundreds of people who shared her experience. Even those already organizing in their home states like Mercedes Smith, a formerly incarcerated woman and current organizer with WORTH, were impressed. “I thought it was the greatest thing I had ever heard?a movement that was made up of nothing but formerly incarcerated people. It had to be a powerful movement and I wanted to be a part of it,” she recalled. “Once I got there, it showed me how important the work is that I do and it made me eager to come home and jump back into it.”

The one-day convening was packed with trainings on juvenile justice and youth organizing, Ban the Box , voter disenfranchisement, gender issues and other issues. Attendees also adopted a national platform, addressing fourteen points related to incarceration:

I. We Demand an End to Mass Incarceration;
II. We Demand Equality and Opportunity for All People;
III. We Demand the Right to Vote;
IV. We Demand Respect and Dignity for Our Children;
V. We Demand Community Development, Not Prison Profit;
VI. End Immigration Detention and Deportation;
VII. End Racial Profiling Inside Prison and In Our Communities;
VIII. End Extortion and Slavery In Prisons;
IX. End Sexual Harassment of People In Prisons;
X. Human Contact is a Human Right;
XI. End Cruel and Unusual Punishment;
XII. We Demand Proper Medical Treatment;
XIII. End the Incarceration of Children;
XIV. Free Our Political Prisoners.

“While the platform points are broad, we believe we’ve at least touched on all of the aspects that people have experienced while doing time in prison and beyond,” Reynolds noted, adding that, although ratified by the conference attendees, the platform is still a work-in-progress. “The issues addressed in the platform are the basic foundational issues involving the inhumane and oppressive treatment within the criminal justice system. We are taking a stand and saying that we’re going to stop it, that things need to change.”

By the end of the conference, attendees set a goal of registering one million voters in 2012.

Smith, who attended a training session on voters’ rights at the conference, returned with a resolve to help formerly incarcerated and convicted people know their rights. “I’m going to put a training together for voters’ rights and get voter registration cards so that people can register to vote. We’re also going to tell people who are formerly incarcerated how to go about being able to vote.” Smith notes that, in New York State, former convictions are not barriers to voting: “As long as you’re on parole, you can’t vote, but if you have your Certificate of Relief, you can vote while you’re on parole. For women who don’t have their Certificate of Relief, I want to tell them how to get it so that they can vote. Once you’re off parole or if you have a misdemeanor, you can vote.”

The movement is also including people who are currently behind bars in their mass registration campaign: “If you’re sentenced to a year and a day and you have to go upstate on a misdemeanor charge, you’re allowed to vote. If you’re in jail and you haven’t been sentenced, you’re allowed to vote,” Reynolds explained. “Why aren’t these people given their right to vote?”

So what are the next steps towards this goal?

“Our first step is to hold a training on voters’ rights,” Smith explained. “Before we go out, we need to know what we’re going out to say and do?I’m going to try to go to as many organizations and give them the training that I receive. I’m going to take voter registration cards with me and have everybody get people registered to vote. When I agreed to get people registered to vote, I took it seriously. I wouldn’t have raised my hand if I hadn’t taken it seriously. I raised my hand and I’ve been on it since I’ve come back. By the time the election comes, they’re going to be registered to vote. I’m going to tell them that you can’t just complain about who’s in office. Learn who wants to be in office, learn if that’s who you want to be in office to work with. You can’t just complain about them and not want to change things or do anything about it. Learn your rights about voting, get registered to vote!”

However, registering one million formerly incarcerated and convicted people is just the beginning: “I’m going to work on some other things, but one thing at a time,” Smith stated. “One of the things I learned at the convening was that people have worked on issues such as Ban the Box and they have been successful in their states. It makes you say, ‘If they could pass that law there, we can pass that law here.’ Before, I would say, ‘I don’t want to work on that. That’s too hard.’ Now I feel the fight is worth it. As a formerly incarcerated person, I want all of that?not only for myself, but for all my sisters and brothers that are formerly incarcerated. I want them to be able to vote, to be able to get a job, to get housing, to be treated like human beings.”

“It’s not just about them having the right to vote,” reflected Reynolds. “It’s having an opportunity to be a part of this movement because here is an opportunity for us to talk about the movement, to talk about a political analysis, to talk about education, to talk about the history of incarceration and how it’s impacted us over the last forty years with the War on Drugs. There is life after prison; there are rights that we are supposed to have. If we’re not seeking them, why aren’t we seeking them? Why aren’t we fighting for our rights as far as what is available to us?”




Victoria Law is a writer, photographer and mother. She is the author of “Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women” (PM Press 2009), the editor of the zine Tenacious: Art and Writings from Women in Prison and a co-founder of Books Through Bars – NYC. She is currently working on transforming “Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind,” a zine series on how radical movements can support the families in their midst, into a book.

Feb 18th Art/Visual Prop Making Party for Occupy San Quentin Rally!

Join CCWP members and others from the Occupy 4 Prisoners to create
striking visuals to bring to the Occupy San Quentin rally on February
20th.
Time/Date: Saturday, February 18th 12 noon
Place: 1540 Market St., Suite 490 near Van Ness (CCWP/All of Us Or
None offices)
Bring: Imagination, energy and poster making materials (we will have
some there but always good to have more).

A Rally for Political Prisoners

San Francisco, California: International Day of Solidarity with Leonard Peltier.
AIM-WEST will hold a Leonard Peltier rally on MONDAY, February 6th starting at the Federal courthouse on Mission and 7th in San Francisco at 11 am and will leave at 11:30 am for a short walk to the Federal Building on Golden Gate St. for a noon time rally from 12:00-1:00 p.m.
We will have prayer, sage, drum and song, open microphone, speakers and announcements. The rally will be held to remind the public that the USA is warehousing political prisoners and that we haven’t forgotten the date of Leonard’s arrest in Canada (Feb. 6, 1976).
www.aimwest.info
415-577-1492

End of Prison Oversight Not Certain

AP Interview: End of prison oversight not certain
By DON THOMPSON, Associated Press
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) ? The court-appointed receiver overseeing
California’s prison health care system said Friday the state must keep
its promise to spend more than $2 billion for new medical facilities
before the federal courts can end an oversight role that has lasted
six years.
California committed to spending $750 million to upgrade existing
medical facilities, building a new $906 million medical center and
converting juvenile lockups at a cost of $817 million. So far, only
the new medical center in Stockton is being built.
Receiver J. Clark Kelso told The Associated Press that the state must
begin all the upgrades before it should be allowed to retake control
of a prison medical system once deemed so poor that it was found to
have violated inmates’ constitutional rights. They are his first
public comments since a federal judge last week told officials to
begin preparing for an end to the receivership.
“That leaves a court order that the state is now out of compliance
with,” Kelso said during the 75-minute interview. “The courts have
been promised construction for the last half-decade. Somehow those
promises don’t get kept.”
California officials are analyzing the need for new medical facilities
in light of a state law that took effect last year that is sending
lower-level criminals to county jails instead of state prisons.
Federal judges have ordered the state to reduce its prison population
by 33,000 inmates over two years to improve the treatment of mentally
and physically ill inmates, a decision that has been upheld by the
U.S. Supreme Court.
At its height in 2006, California’s inmate population was more than 162,000.
Kelso said the medical center that is under construction in Stockton
and the $750 million in upgrades are needed even if the state has
fewer inmates. Conversion of the juvenile lockups was to have included
new housing and treatment facilities for sick and mentally ill
inmates.
Kelso has been negotiating with officials from the state Department of
Corrections and Rehabilitation and attorneys representing inmates
after a federal judge issued a notice saying it was time to begin
ending the federal receivership. Court oversight of medical care in
the nation’s largest state prison system has led to improvements in
inmate health care that have cost California taxpayers billions of
dollars.
“We’ll just see if the parties can’t find a middle ground for
agreement,” Kelso said.
The pace of those negotiations will determine how quickly the state
can retake control of its prison health care operations, he said.
Corrections Secretary Matthew Cate said he wanted to see the
receivership end as early as this summer, although he also said it
would be appropriate for the courts to maintain some type of oversight
role to ensure that inmate care does not deteriorate.
“I think the sooner we return day-to-day operations to the state, the
better,” Cate told the AP in an interview earlier this week. “We need
to work out the construction issues, obviously, and I know that Clark
is also concerned about making sure there’s a strong structure in
place to maintain the strides we’ve made. But if we can work those
issues out, I’d love to see it be this summer.”
Kelso said the state also should create a quasi-independent medical
bureaucracy within the corrections department to make sure the state
doesn’t backslide because of budget cuts or a lack of interest.
“A lot of that has to do with budget independence and the independence
of the head of prison health care really to control his or her
budget,” Kelso said. “They can’t just get lost in the big haze that is
the corrections budget.”
He said the corrections department traditionally has focused on
keeping inmates safely locked up, with a lesser emphasis on the
well-being of those prisoners, and it is unclear if that culture has
changed.
Citing inmate overcrowding as the leading cause, the federal courts
previously found that medical care for California prisoners was so
poor that an average of one inmate a week was dying of neglect or
malpractice. It ordered the prison population reduced, prompting the
department to send layoff notices this week to 548 employees because
fewer workers are needed as the number of inmates declines.
In the notice he filed last week, U.S. District Court Judge Thelton
Henderson said conditions had improved enough to consider ending the
receivership. He said most of the goals of the federal oversight had
been met.
The San Francisco-based judge ordered Kelso, state officials and
inmates’ attorneys to report by April 30 on when the receivership
should end and whether it should continue some role in ensuring that
conditions remained constitutional.
“I think this all depends much more on the state’s progress than on
mine,” Kelso said. “Frankly, if the construction had been done as
promised, I’d be a hell of a lot closer.”
Copyright © 2012 The Associated Press.

Valley State Prison inmates express concerns over pending conversion

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012 – 1:35 pm

Valley State Prison Inmates Express Concerns Over Pending Conversion


Inmates at Valley State Prison for Women (VSPW) have flooded the office of Madera County District 2 Supervisor David Rogers with letters expressing their concerns and fears over the state’s plan to convert the prison to a men’s facility.
“These concerns,” Rogers said, “range from losing valuable rehabilitative programs and the potential of being housed near women who have threatened their safety.”
Recent numbers show about 3,000 women are housed in VSPW, Rogers said, which is 150 percent of design capacity. At Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF), the second women’s prison located in Chowchilla, there are about 3,400 inmates, 180 percent of design capacity, Rogers said. The only other women’s facility, California Institute for Women (CIW), houses almost 2,000 inmates and was designed for 1,200.
“These women are concerned that the two facilities which will remain after the conversion, CCWF and CIW, will be more crowded than the three are today,” Rogers said. “This goes against the court order that mandated the reduction in population. The concerns that launched the lawsuit against California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation were based on inadequate mental health and medical services.
“How are those services going to be administered to a greater, more condensed population with the existing staff? It makes no sense.”
Rogers added that he fully supports law enforcement and knows the women are in prison to pay for their own actions. He also said the correctional officers who have adjusted to overseeing women will now have to adjust to overseeing men, who are much more violent behind bars.
The letters, while focused on the overcrowding expected at the remaining two women’s prisons, express the fear that not even the correctional officers will be able to protect them, Rogers noted.
” ‘CDCR is failing to protect us,’ one woman wrote,” Rogers said, ” ‘by putting us into a crowded, hostile and volatile situation.’ That’s not what the federal court intended.”
The prison now has about 55 self-help groups initiated and run by inmates, Rogers said.
“These women have dedicated themselves to rehabilitation, and now they are afraid of losing these valuable resources,” Rogers said, adding that CCWF only has about six groups. “According to these women, the inmates at CCWF don’t want the additional groups. Besides, if they’re going to be packed into two prisons, there won’t be time, space or resources for these groups.”
“They have asked me to be their voice on the outside,” Rogers said. “I’m going to do just that. Already my staff has made contacts with state and federal representatives, and has reached out to non-profit organizations that fight for incarcerated women’s rights. The things these women claim have happened, the fear they express in these letters ? No one should have to live in fear.
“They are paying their debts to society and aren’t asking anything more than what they have rights to. To live in a safe and secure environment, and have the medical and mental health care they need. Every human is entitled to that, whether they’ve made mistakes or not.”
Most of the letters, Rogers said, come from women serving long-term or life sentences.
” ‘VSPW has a good reputation as far as having the most self-help groups ? mostly facilitated by inmates themselves,’ one woman wrote,” Rogers said as he read from the woman’s letter. ” ‘The lifer/long-termer population has worked very hard not only to better ourselves, but to give back to the outside community. These programs will no longer exist if we are moved to CCWF.’ That’s just wrong.
“Another woman wrote, ‘We have been made aware of threats of violence against us if we are moved to CCWF and that staff there do not want us to reestablish our programs once we arrive.’ ” Rogers said.
Rogers noted that yet another woman said she gave law enforcement information years ago that helped convict a woman. That woman, he added, is incarcerated at CCWF.
“This woman said she was in fear for her life should she be housed at CCWF,” Rogers said. “This woman has documented the CCWF inmate as an enemy, someone she believes will do harm to her. She also said someone on staff told her if she didn’t retract her documentation, she would be housed in Administrative Segregation.
“For her safety, they’re going to lock her up and keep her from the programs she has been doing so well with. Again, that doesn’t make sense and I can’t believe the federal courts intended to lock a woman up twice ? once in prison, and again in a secure housing unit.”
Rogers said another inmate had a list of concerns that, she said, are not being addressed, such as enemy concerns and possibly being housed in total lockdown if they do not sign waivers clearing those concerns, the housing arrangements when there aren’t enough beds, medical care and the increase in waiting times to see doctors, and how the population in lockdown will gain access to the law library. Others expressed concerns over the amount of gang-related violence at CCWF, Rogers said.
” ‘I am writing to you with the hopes that you will be the voice of prison inmates,’ ” Rogers read from another letter. ” ‘I am not requesting special treatment, just that we be heard and have our concerns taken into consideration before any drastic changes occur.’ ”
“This prison, according to the inmates, is like a community,” Rogers said. “They are facilitators, mentors, teachers, peace-keepers and mediators through these self-help groups. They have bonded because they have common interests and goals to turn their lives around. How can someone not respect that?
“They talk about the stress levels they’re living with due to this conversion. I can only imagine what they’re going through from the passionate words that pour from these letters. My heart goes out to them, but that’s not going to make their living situations better. Someone has to put a stop to this. And I’m going to do everything in my power, through the contacts I’ve made at the state and federal levels, to help them.”
Read more here: Posted in 2012 Legislation