#FreeBlueSky Parole Update

Rickie Blue-Sky

This week the California Board of Parole Hearings denied Rickie Blue-Sky parole for the 5th time. We come together outraged by how the State of California continues to punish Blue-Sky for maintaining his innocence and criminalize him for existing as a Native American transgender elder. Blue-Sky told us that they used his “refusal to admit the crime” and his “unstable childhood” to argue that he lacks insight and is therefore a threat to public safety. He said that when the board assessed him under the “Elderly Parole Program” they found that even though he is 70 years old, “he looks so young” and therefore is still a public safety risk.

Thanks to your support with Blue-Sky’s petition, the DA did not use transphobic arguments against him. However, Blue-Sky is still caught in a system designed to keep people endlessly caged.

We ask for your continued solidarity with imprisoned trans people. Please stay in touch with our coalition of legal advocacy & organizing groups listed below for updates on how to keep showing up for the survival and freedom of Blue-Sky and other imprisoned trans people in California and beyond.

From Blue-Sky: “I wish to thank everyone who supported me by signing the petition, and a special thanks to all those who wrote personal letters of support. I hope you will continue to support me.”

TGI Justice Project, http://www.tgijp.org  

California Coalition for Women Prisoners, http://womenprisoners.org

National Lawyers Guild, Prisoner Advocacy Network, http://www.nlgsf.org/prisoner-advocacy-network

Justice Now, http://www.jnow.org

Transgender Law Center, http://transgenderlawcenter.org




No to Physical & Sexual Assault on People in Women’s Prisons!

On November 11th, five imprisoned people at Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) endured extreme violence at the hands of prison guards. They immediately filed grievances against the officers and called for an independent investigation, but so far none of their requests have been met. They have now developed a more comprehensive set of demands listed in the letter below.

Family members and a coalition of organizations – the California Coalition for Women Prisoners, Justice Now, the Family Unity Network, and the TGI Justice Project – are asking your help. in pressuring the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the Senate Public Safety Committee to respond to their demands.

Please click on the link below to TAKE ACTION to pressure the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the Senate Public Safety Committee to respond to their demands. And let these officials know that their is widespread public concern about this incident! 

Please help spread the word on your email lists and through social media.


20 Years of Speaking Truth To Power Countdown!

CCWP’s 20th Anniversary Celebration – Saturday Nov. 7th!

 As part of CCWP’s 20th Anniversary celebrations, we are counting down some of the ways that we have spoken truth to power over the years. Thank you to all who have helped create a movement through these actions. We invite you all to celebrate with us on November 7th at the Women’s Building in San Francisco. Go to Brown Paper Tickets to get your tickets now!   http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2207494

Countdown #20Countdown #19

No New SF Jail! Create Alternatives to a Jail Rebuild!

 Black Women in SF account for nearly 50% of the city’s arrests of women!
Dear Supporter,

On June 18, Supervisor Jane Kim will hold a public hearing on Alternatives to a Jail Rebuild. This is another opportunity for the community to express what is crystal clear: San Francisco needs to invest in affordable housing, residential treatment programs, outpatient mental health services, health care for all, quality schools, parks and recreation program, not more cages.

Take action to stop the criminalization and imprisonment of Black and Brown communities and poor people. A recent report by the Center of Juvenile and Criminal Justice revealed that Black women in SF account for nearly 50% of the city’s arrests of women while they are only 6% of the women’s population in jail. This shocking statistic confirms the racism that we see operating on a daily basis in our work with women and transgender prisoners at SF County Jail. At the same time, we know that 84% of people in SF jail are pre-trial which means they haven’t been sentenced of a crime but simply can’t afford bail. Bail reform would eliminate the perceived need for a new jail.

Join us as we demonstrate that alternatives to jails and policing are what we need. It is scandalous that some Supervisors are proposing to significantly expand the SF police force. Wasting hundreds of millions of dollars into rebuilding a jail will only increase the violence of policing and imprisonment. This past week, the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors suspended their jail construction plans to adequately assess community alternatives. San Francisco needs to follow their example now.

In solidarity,

Hafsah Al-Amin
California Coalition for Women Prisoners
Member of Californians United for a Responsible Budget and No New SF Coalition 


Mariposa & the Saint announcement

Join CCWP for two benefit performances of Mariposa & the Saint and a conversation about the shocking conditions in California’s women’s prisons and what can be done to change them.

Thursday, May 7th at Stagewerx, 446 Valencia St. at 16th, San Francisco

$15 advance thru Brown Paper Tickets, $20 at the door, no one turned away for lack of funds

Doors open at 7:00, Play begins promptly at 7:30

Sunday, May 10th at La Peña, 3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley

$15 advance thru Eventbrite, $20 at the door, no one turned away for lack of funds

Doors open at 7:00, Play begins promptly at 7:30

In 2012, Mariposa was sentenced to fifteen months in solitary confinement. In 2015 she is still in a special confinement unit. Through letters with longtime friend Julia Steele Allen who met her through a CCWP prison visiting team, Mariposa brings her experience to the stage.

Written by Sara (Mariposa) Fonseca & Julia Steele Allen

Directed by Noelle Ghoussaini

A Benefit for the California Coalition for Women Prisoners, www.womenprisoners.org

For more information contact CCWP info@womenprisoners.org, 415-255-7036 x 4



Act Now to Free Kelly Savage!


Image: Jared Rodriguez / Truthout

Petitioning Attorney General Kamala Harris


This petition will be delivered to:

Attorney General Kamala Harris

Free Kelly! Domestic violence survivor serving her 19th year in prison for a crime committed by her abusive husband.

California Coalition for Women Prisoners

Kelly is a domestic violence survivor serving her 19th year in prison for a crime she did not commit. In 1995, Kelly’s abusive husband killed her son Justin after she put her children to sleep and left the house to run errands in preparation to leave him with her children the next day. Her ex-husband has since confessed his responsibility for Justin’s death, telling Kelly in a letter he wrote from prison last year that “I should of let you all get away from me.”

Kelly’s trial and conviction rested on the prosecution exploiting myths and misconceptions of survivors of abuse. Even Kelly’s own defense attorney told the jury that she was negligent for not leaving her abusive husband, a damaging and inaccurate argument that hurt her case. Kelly’s history of abuse began when she was less than four years old. She sustained a lifetime of rapes, beatings and other abuse by a succession of family members, acquaintances and two husbands, including the husband who killed Justin.

Kelly was not present for her son’s killing, but the DA blamed her for not escaping and saving her children sooner, ignoring the very real and documented dangers associated with attempting to leave an abusive partner. The DA also exploited Kelly’s history of abuse to suggest that she didn’t run because she enjoyed the beatings, and sacrificed her son to “please” her abusive husband. Kelly was convicted of first-degree murder for “aiding and abetting” her abusive husband, and sentenced to Life Without Possibility of Parole.

California’s Intimate Partner Battering legislation allows Kelly to petition for a review of her conviction by introducing expert testimony about her abuse that was not allowed in her trial. Kelly’s defense was severely harmed by the absence of expert testimony to explain how prolonged intimate partner battering was relevant to her case. Kelly’s lawyer and trial judge fought her request for an expert in domestic violence who could have testified on her behalf.

In prison, Kelly has the respect of prisoners and prison staff alike. She keeps her heart and spirit strong by focusing on helping other prisoners. Since learning more about domestic violence and the cycle of abuse, Kelly leads support groups for others. Kelly also works hard to raise money within the prison. She helps raise more than $9000 a year to send to a low-income school in Madera, paying for basic school supplies and computers for local kids. Kelly is also one of few approved caregivers in a Comfort Care program, where she gives needed support to dying and incapacitated prisoners.

Through the California Habeas Project and Free Battered Women, now the California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP), Kelly secured legal help from pro-bono attorneys at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. Kelly’s petition is currently held up in the appeals court process and the Attorney General is opposing her chance at a fair hearing.

Join us in asking our Attorney General, Kamala Harris, to withdraw her opposition to Kelly’s habeas petition and tell the court to grant her a fair hearing. Domestic violence survivors need care and support, not prison!

For more info: colby@womenprisoners.org

Facebook: please join the group “FreeKelly!”

Twitter: @womenprisoners (#FreeKelly)

Read Victoria Law’s article about Kelly on Truth-out:


Why Is California Keeping Kelly Savage in Prison for a Crime She Didn’t Commit?