CCWP is a grassroots social justice organization, with members inside and outside prison, that challenges the institutional violence imposed on women, transgender people, and communities of color by the prison industrial complex (PIC). We see the struggle for racial and gender justice as central to dismantling the PIC and we prioritize the leadership of the people, families, and communities most impacted in building this movement.
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. Charisse Shumate: Fighting for Our Lives is a 37-minute film created in collaboration with the Freedom Archives that documents the origins of CCWP.
We want the abolition of a prison system whose purpose is punishment, control and the warehousing of human beings, the majority of whom are people of color and poor. We work for a society where education rather than incarceration is the priority, where investment goes to jobs not jails, where sexual violence is not tolerated, where human rights are a reality for all people.