DROP LWOP RALLY/LOBBY DAY GREAT SUCCESS!

On Monday August 6th, a hundred people from all over California came together to lobby for the passage of SB 1393 and rally to DROP LWOP sentencing in a day coordinated by CCWP and CURB.  Below is a quick, heartfelt summary of the day by Pam Fadem from CCWP with some photos.
Delegation that went to deliver the letter signed by over 100 organizations calling on
Governor Brown to commute all 5,000 people with LWOP sentences in California prisons.

It was WONDERFUL– TONS of formerly incarcerated people, lots of amazing family members, many visits to legislators, and a VERY beautiful and spirited rally — with incredible statements from people inside and former prisoners, and beautifully and powerfully displayed with people wearing DROP LWOP t-shirts (thank you Angel and Christina), ribbons (thank you June!!), amazing posters of our loved ones serving LWOP (thank you Anna H and  Grace!!), lots of homemade signs and banners—There was never a lull or a low point.

We were able to walk all of the materials collected into his office and do a hand off to the Governor’s Assistant Director of external affairs. Two family members of  people serving LWOP –Joanne Scheer and Christina Mendoza– did the drop off, and it was very emotional for everyone–

This is clearly  a growing campaign/ movement—  It was beautiful, powerful  and filled with emotion!

The box delivered to the Governor had  three 8 ft paper banners made by  people at Central California Women’s Facility — full of their handprints, signatures and family photos, over 30 statements from people serving LWOP, the official letter to the Governor calling on him to commute all currently serving LWOP signed by over 100 community organizations. It was a stunning sight.

Let’s keep the pressure up, the work  growing and continue to welcome our loved ones home.

DROP LWOP!!

Banner created by people at CCWF

 

Colby, Romarilyn, & Yolanda
Rojas, Romarilyn & Jackie

DROP LWOP/ RALLY LOBBY DAY AUGUST 6TH

 

Over 5000 people are serving LWOP (Life Without the Possibility of Parole) sentences in California prisons. People of color are disproportionately sentenced to LWOP and of the nearly 200 people serving LWOP in CA women’s prisons, the overwhelming majority are survivors of abuse, including intimate partner battering, childhood abuse, sexual violence, and sex trafficking.  Life without parole is an inhumane sentence. It denies that people have the capacity to change, grow and be rehabilitated.

As Governor Brown nears the end of his term, he has granted an unprecedented number of commutations for people serving LWOP sentences.  Commuting a sentence does not guarantee release from prison, but it does guarantee that each person will have the right to see the Parole Board in their lifetime, rather than being sentenced to spend the rest of their lives in prison under a “living death penalty.”

Over 100 organizations have signed a letter asking Governor Brown to commute the sentences of all people serving Life Without Parole in California’s prisons to parole-eligible sentences.  We will be delivering the letter to Governor Brown’s office.  Come to Sacramento on August 6th!

RSVP for August 6 DROP LWOP Rally/Lobby Day at

https://bit.ly/2MfipW

FOR FATHER’S DAY, GOVERNOR BROWN PLEASE COMMUTE MORE PEOPLE WITH LWOP!

“For the first time in more than 38 years, I’ll be able to celebrate with my daughter. I am deeply grateful to Governor Brown for granting me this tremendous opportunity to live a better life.” – Kenneth Hartman, formerly serving Life Without Parole (LWOP)

Dear friends,

Please join with the California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP) in asking Governor Brown to commute more women, men and transgender people with LWOP sentences this Father’s Day 2018. 

Below is a short message you can email to the Governor’s office. Please bcc info@womenprisoners.org on your message and check out our new DROP LWOP website for more information about the campaign.

Sample Message to Governor Brown
Email address: leg.unit@gov.ca.gov
Dear Governor Brown,
I join with Kenneth Hartman, one of the men whose LWOP sentence you have generously commuted, in urging you to commute more LWOP sentences for Father’s Day.

“I am one of the fortunate few who had their sentence of LWOP commuted to life with parole last year. Consequently, I have now been out of prison for 6 months.  It is particularly meaningful to me to be out for this Fathers’ Day.  For the first time in more than 38 years, I’ll be able to celebrate with my daughter.  I am deeply grateful to Governor Brown for granting me this tremendous opportunity to live a better life, and I cannot adequately express how much this has positively impacted my family.  I hope and pray that many more men and women serving LWOP will have a chance to live this better life.”
Kenneth Hartman

I applaud the historic number of LWOP commutations that you have granted and hope that you will continue to recognize that people have the capacity to change, grow and be rehabilitated, which an LWOP sentence denies.

Looking forward to your Father’s Day commutations!
Thank you,

Governor Brown Grant More LWOP Commutations for Mother’s Day!

Dear friends,
Please join with the California Coalition for Women Prisoners in asking Governor Brown to commute more women, men and transgender people with LWOP sentences for Mother’s Day 2018.  Below is a short message you can email to the Governor’s office at the address below, or create your own message.  Please bcc info@womenprisoners.org on your message.   

Dear Governor Brown,

In the spirit of all mothers who give birth with love and hope in their hearts, I ask you to offer a living chance to the 5,000 people in California’s prisons who have been sentenced to Life Without the Possibility of Parole (LWOP).

I applaud the historic number of LWOP commutations that you have granted and hope that you will continue to recognize that people have the capacity to change, grow and be rehabilitated, which an LWOP sentence denies. This powerful new video speaks to the urgent need to #DROP LWOP!
I look forward to your Mother’s Day 2018 Commutations!

Thank you,

Community Applauds Governor Brown’s Historic Easter Commutations and Pardons

Panel at DROP LWOP Townhall, March 24, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 31st, 2018

Contacts:

Deirdre Wilson, CCWP, 415-255-7036 x 4

Amber-Rose Howard, CURB, 909-717-8520

The California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP) and the Californians United for a Responsible Budget Coalition (CURB) applaud Governor Brown for commuting the sentences of 14 people and pardoning 56 to mark the Easter holiday, among them 7 were serving Life Without Parole (LWOP). These commutations follow the 19 commutations and 132 pardons granted by the Governor at Christmas. These commutations follow the 37 commutations the Governor has granted during his term, 17 for people serving LWOP.

“These unprecedented commutations indicate that the Governor recognizes that people have the capacity to change, grow and be rehabilitated, which an LWOP sentence denies.” noted Adrienne Roberts of CCWP.  “We are hopeful that over the course of his last year in office, Brown will continue to grant pardons and commutations, especially to the thousands of people serving LWOP sentences. Such a bold stance could serve as a model for commutation and sentencing reform throughout the country.”

According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, over 5,000 people in California are serving LWOP.  Roberts continues “Life Without Parole sentencing is increasingly being challenged and limited across the United States. We believe that all people in California serving the inhumane LWOP sentence should be commuted to parole-eligible, allowing people a chance to go before the Parole Board.  UItimately, LWOP, a living death sentence, needs to be eliminated from the penal code.”

Ivette Alé of CURB points out that, “Black and Brown people are disproportionately sentenced to LWOP, revealing prosecutorial bias and racial discrimination. Of the nearly 200 people serving LWOP in California’s women’s prisons, the overwhelming majority are survivors of abuse, including intimate partner battering, childhood abuse, sexual violence and sex trafficking. Hearing the news of the Easter commutations offers a sense of hope in the direction of dropping LWOP sentences for good.” Today’s commutations included 3 people in women’s prisons, 2 serving LWOP.

 

A group of people with LWOP sentences at the Central California Women’s Facility reacted with excitement at news of the Easter commutations. “We are extremely humbled by Governor Brown’s act of grace. We have believed and persevered through despair and now we feel that a miracle of hope is transforming our lives.”

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For more information watch our new video and share widely!