Former prisoners, activists, scholars, advocates and policy makers will come together September 25-27 in Berkeley, Calif. for a groundbreaking conference on the emergence of a Prison-Industrial complex in the United States and around the world. The mission of the Critical Resistance conference is to develop a strategy of resistance that can challenge the mounting trend to use imprisonment as a stop-gap solution to systematic social problems in this society. The development of such a strategy requires active collaboration between a wide range of groups and people who often do not work together. Prisoner input is essential and women prisoners are particularly encouraged to participate. Prisoner writing and art will be showcased and incorporated in the workshops and panels and ideas for conference programs and priorities are welcome. Please write to Program Committee, Critical Resistance, P.O. Box 339, Berkeley, CA 94701.
CCWP is planning many forms of participation at the conference. We hope to hold a workshop on working together for women prisoners as well as a special meeting for all those interested in the issue of women prisoners. The next issue of The Fire Inside will focus on the idea of “critical resistance” – what it means to women prisoners and prisoner advocates. We ask that you write to us and tell us what it means to you: What forms of resistance have you found most successful? What can those of us on the outside do to support resistance on the inside? Do you think that there are forms of resistance that are specific for women’s issues and needs (as compared to those for men)? CCWP wants to make sure that the voices of women and particularly women prisoners are heard at the conference. The deadline for the next issue of this newsletter is August 15, 1998.