The Women?s Foundation of California, the Women Donors Network and the Center For Restorative Justice Works (CRJW) organized a Criminal Justice Briefing and Prison Visit on May 11-12, 2010. It was an opportunity to learn from leading criminal justice reform advocates and formerly incarcerated people, and to visit the Central California Women?s Facility (CCWF) in Chowchilla, which is part of the largest women?s prison complex in the world.
The program took place over two full days. The May 11th briefing included presentations from Dorsey Nunn of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, Kim Carter- executive director and founder of A Time For Change Foundation, Cynthia Chandler of Justice Now and CCWP Program Coordinator Deirdre Wilson. Deirdre was able to accompany a group of 50 or so people who visited CCWF the following day. Karen Shain of LSPC and Angela Davis were also among those who had the opportunity to meet in small groups with incarcerated people inside the prison.
They heard from incarcerated mothers, who recently received visits from their children through Get On The Bus, a program of the Center for Restorative Justice Works, which brings children to visit their mothers in prison on Mother?s Day. They also observed and discussed conditions of confinement, mental health and health issues, challenges facing older prisoners, rehabilitation and education programs, etc.
Together we can change the prison system . . . .