To all of you who have shared your stories, poetry and art over the past 10 years, this issue of The Fire Inside is dedicated to YOU. CCWP would not be what it is without your words, your thoughts, and your willingness to share your hopes, your fears, your disappointments and your successes. By sharing your words with each other and the ?free world? you have opened a window into the otherwise hidden world of women?s prisons.
We thank you for your past contributions and look forward to your future contributions, hoping that The Fire Inside continues to serve as a bridge between inside and out as well as a form of communication between prisoners.

Woman prisoner writes

Dear CCWP,
I look forward to every issue of The Fire Inside. So far in my personal journey in prison I am still getting used to the idea of being here.
Domestic violence is lethal. My only son died because the two men in his life, his father and my brother, hated me. There is no excuse for violence, not even hatred. There is no excuse for violence, not even jealousy. We women need to be persistent in our education and assurances to all (men and women) that it is OK for women to make our own decisions.
I am very worried about those of us who are long-termers. For the past year we have had an inactive longtermers organization, and I believe it has now been disbanded. We long-termers create the community here and I feel we need to make positive opportunities for ourselves. I want to join a longtermers organization.
Thank you so much for The Fire Inside and for caring about us.

Legal Corner: Correcting your sentence

by J. D., CCWF
It has been noticed by women at CCWF that Case Records often revises a woman?s original sentence ? the one imposed by the Judge ? and it ends up longer than it was. This may involve a confusion about how half-time or 85% time is calculated for violent or non-violent felonies. Or because the sentencing guideline in Penal Code 669 which says that if the court is silent about defining sentences to run concurrent or consecutive, the sentences must be run concurrently. The women have developed a simple protocol to follow if you believe that your original sentence has been increased for whatever reason.
Protocol for Correcting Sentences
1. Write to your sentencing court. Send them a ?Motion for Abstract of Judgment and Minute Order? (the law library has the form).
Address your letter to the Clerk of the Court.
Fill out the motion completely.
Make and keep a copy ? don?t rely on CCWF?s copy of Abstract of Judgment. If there was an error between the Court and CCWF, how will you know unless you get it yourself?
2. When you receive your Abstract of Judgment and Minute Order and there is a difference between the order and what CCWF is saying, go to the law library for help with filling out a 602.
3. If and when you receive your 602 back, if the sentence imposed is not corrected, here?s what to do. Do not argue with them about controlling case, etc. etc. This is usually what they cite to deny the 602. Simply repeat like a broken record ?The judge gave me _____ sentence, CCWF has imposed _____ sentence. Please correct.?
4. Keep going with the 602 to the Sacramento level. Again watch the time frames for response ? they are famous for losing them. That is why you must have a copy ready to go to the next level.
5. If they miss their time frame for response, write on it ?602 has not yet been responded to in time at the ________ level and is therefore considered denied per operation of the law. ? Then advance to the next level.
6. Make a copy of your copy (in case they also miss the next time frame). Send it in to the Appeals Coordinator.
Writing a 602 to Correct Your Sentence
Describe Problem
I was sentenced to______(time) on______(date) by Judge________ (name)
When I arrived at CCWF, case records calculated my sentence to be ______.
Action Requested
Correct my sentence to comply with the judge?s order.
Send to me the corrected face sheet and E.M.P.D.
Write on the bottom of the 602:
Cc: Judge Thelton Henderson
Judge ____________ (your sentencing judge)
Sara Malone, Ombudsman
Senator Jackie Speier
Senator Elaine Alquist
Assembly member Sally Leiber
Mail to each at the address below (plus any other legislators you wish)
Judge Thelton Henderson, US District Court
450 Golden Gate Ave., Box 36060
San Francisco, CA 94102-3661
Sara Malone
PO Box 942883
Sacramento, CA 94283-0001
Senator Jackie Speier
400 S. El Camino Real #630
San Mateo, CA 94402
Senator Elaine Alquist
100 Paseo de San Antonio #209
San Jose, CA 95113
Assemblymember Sally Lieber
274 Castro Street, Suite 202
Mountain View, CA 94041
Remember: send original 602 to case records; send all copies via legal mail; keep a copy yourself and track the time frames. If they ?lose? the original, send a copy of your copy to the next level.

All of Us or None Wins a Victory over Employment Discrimination in San Francisco

San Francisco, CA?In a victory for civil rights advocates everywhere, formerly-incarcerated activists with All of Us or None and officials in the San Francisco Department of Human Resources collaborated to reach an agreement that significantly reforms the City?s hiring process, to reduce prejudice and discrimination against people based on past convictions.
All of Us or None is a grassroots civil rights organization of formerly-incarcerated people, prisoners, and their families. They kick-started their organizing with a number of Peace and Justice Summits (see Fire Inside #29) CCWP has been an active part of All of Us or None since its formation.
The proposals put forth by All of Us or None will be integrated into the current comprehensive reform of the City?s hiring process. These changes include:
1. The question, ?Have you been convicted by a court?? will be removed from the initial application for the City/County of San Francisco.
2. No disclosure of past convictions will be required until the finalist stage of the application process for most jobs.
3. Applicants will have an opportunity to explain conviction history and to submit evidence of rehabilitation during an interview at the finalist stage of the process.
4. Only convictions with a rational relationship to job responsibilities will be considered.
5. Appeal rights will be guaranteed if the applicant perceives discrimination.
6. If there is a statutory bar restricting someone with a conviction from employment at a specific job, this information will be listed on the job announcement. (Anyone applying for these jobs will be required to disclose conviction history at the beginning of the process.)
What this means is that people with past convictions attempting to rebuild their lives will have equal opportunity for a job with the City and County of San Francisco. Millions of people have past convictions in this country and the number is constantly growing. In light of this fact, it is imperative that our society creates true equal opportunity and support for the ever-increasing number of formerly incarcerated people. It is a matter justice, equality and public safety. ?All of Us or None doesn’t view this as a conclusion but the beginning of a struggle to end discrimination throughout the state of California,? said Dorsey Nunn, one of the All of Us or None organizers. It is very appropriate that San Francisco is leading the way.

USF Creative Justice Art Show

On February 3, 2006 University of San Francisco?s Equal Justice Society hosted a Creative Justice Art Show whose proceeds were donated to CCWP, specifically to the Family Visiting Day program (see “Family Visits”).
USF EJS Co-Chair Jerry Hempler said that the response from the artistic community was enthusiastic, with the number of entries nearly tripling from last year. “We were pleasantly surprised with the large number of artists vying for spots in the show” Hempler noted.
Several pieces of women prisoners? art were exhibited. CCWP thanks USF EJS, Jerry Hempler and all the people who put on the show and all who attended it.
Thank you!