Caring Collectively for People
in Women’s Prisons

We monitor and challenge the abusive conditions inside California women’s prisons.

We fight for the release of women and trans prisoners.

We support women and trans people in their process of re-entering the community.




Job Opening:  Policy/Campaign Organizer

40 hr./week position with full benefits

The incumbent needs to live in California and be able to travel frequently to Sacramento for legislative work

We are looking for a passionate, systems impacted person who can anchor CCWP’s policy work, help set policy priorities, and contribute to CCWP’s key campaigns.

As the policy anchor, the incumbent would prioritize in-depth work on a few pieces of legislation and develop broad expertise on criminal legal legislation in general.

The position would work closely with CCWP’s many partner organizations on the bills we prioritize as co-sponsors.

Additionally, the position would track significant legislation, prepare support letters for a variety of bills that CCWP supports, and monitor the implementation of the legislation that has been passed. 


  • Hear From Survivors of Forced Sterilization
  • Learn About The History of Forced Sterilization – Michele Goodwin – Author & Professor, UC Irvine
  • Mobilize To Ensure Reparations For All Eligible!

In July 2021 California allocated an unprecedented $7.5 million to provide reparations for  survivors of forced sterilization under California’s eugenics laws from 1909 to 1979; and survivors who were recently sterilized in women’s state prisons.  Applications were opened on January 1, 2022 and a small number of survivors have received their much deserved compensation for the irreparable harm done to them.

With only one more year of the program left, we want to celebrate the reparations that have been received and publicize this historic program so that everyone who is eligible applies and receives compensation.  By acknowledging the long history of state-sponsored coercive sterilization we hope that it will be finally abolished in the future.


Hosted by:

California Coalition for Women Prisoners
Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund
Belly of the Beast Film Team
California Latinas for Reproductive Justice
Sterilization and Social Justice Lab


For more information contact

Dear CCWP Community,

Where do we begin? This year we hired Elizabeth Nomura, a full-time Membership Organizer who has worked tirelessly to support and grow our base—especially formerly and currently incarcerated people.  We fought back against reproductive violence, empowering survivors of forced sterilizations in prison to apply for their long overdue reparations and helping thirty-five survivors so far to get their compensation checks. We passed the historic Racial Justice Act for All, allowing our inside members to challenge racial discrimination in their cases and sentences, and we’ve been successful in shutting down prisons. And using legislation that we helped to pass, we have been able to successfully support resentencing and release for several people with life sentences.

We co-founded the FCI Dublin Solidarity Coalition to demand an end to the rampant pattern of sexual violence at the hands of the Warden, guards and staff, and we brought the call to #DropLWOP all the way to the United Nations. We celebrated longtime member Jane Dorotik’s colossal win against a wrongful conviction, and organized alongside Wendy Howard and Marisela Andrade to demand freedom for all criminalized survivors. We have also experienced deep grief and loss with the passing of loved ones impacted by the cruelty of prisons, inside and out—a painful reminder that our 25+ years of work against medical negligence must continue to grow stronger. 

We are ready to double-down on our efforts, and we need your help. 
Make a one-time donation, become a monthly sustainer, or contact us for information regarding legacy giving.

Some of our priorities for 2023 include: 

  • Building a campaign to close women’s prisons in California and invest in community-based care, based on a groundbreaking report that will be released at the beginning of 2023. 
  • Fighting for accountability and freedom for survivors of sexual violence inside FCI Dublin and everywhere.
  • Growing our in-person legal visiting teams, after nearly two years of pandemic-related shut downs.
  • Demanding reproductive justice behind bars, fully implementing the historic reparations for forced sterilizations program and developing “know your reproductive rights” resources for and with people in women’s prisons.
  • Hiring a full-time campaign and policy coordinator to advance our goals of decarceration, gender justice, and abolition!

In love and solidarity,

Courtney Hanson – CCWP Development & Communications Coordinator

Elizabeth “Leesa” Nomura  – CCWP Membership Organizer

Sue Russo

Rest in Power,

Rest in Peace

Sue Russo, long time prisoner rights advocate, member of CCWP and all-around amazingly good person, died in Central California Women’s Facility on September 29, 2022 from cruel medical neglect by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). 

Sentenced to Life Without the Possibility of Parole in 1996, Sue’s sentence was commuted by Governor Brown in 2017 to 25 to life in recognition of her history as a Domestic Violence survivor and for her exemplary rehabilitation. She had been turned down by the parole board in spite of her diligence, caring, sincere remorse, and rehabilitation.

One of Sue’s most significant accomplishments during her 28 years of incarceration was the co-founding and facilitation of Prison of Peace, now a non-profit organization available for prisoners in many state prisons. Prison of Peace aims to end violence in prison through teaching conflict resolution and restorative justice skills and processes.

While Sue was at Valley State Prison she was diagnosed with Valley Fever, a chronic condition endemic to California’s Central Valley and the prisons where she was housed. She suffered from ongoing respiratory issues due to the Valley Fever, including COPD, and had multiple surgeries to remove portions of her infected lungs.

If the Board of Prison Hearings had recognized Sue’s accomplishments, and if the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation had provided necessary and adequate health care, Sue would be with us today. 


Rest in Power,

Rest in Peace