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.

The Sexual Abuse Response and Prevention working group has released a groundbreaking report outlining substantial measures needed to combat sexual abuse within California’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). The report is the result of interviews with over 700 incarcerated people and emphasizes the critical need for reform in how sexual assault and harassment cases are handled within the state’s carceral system, particularly within the two state prisons designated for women: the Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) and the California Institution for Women (CIW).

This working group, consisting of community-based organizations – including Sister Warriors Freedom Coalition, the California Coalition for Women Prisoners, Just Detention International, Justice First, Survived & Punished, and VALOR – and staff from CDCR, has spent months conducting research and compiling this report. The group’s investigation focused on protections for whistleblowers, access to trauma-informed support for survivors, and the handling of misconduct reports against staff members, making recommendations based on the root factors contributing to the ongoing sexual abuse within these facilities.

Key Recommendations:

1. Expedited Release for Survivors: Proposing a system to fast-track the release of individuals who have survived sexual abuse by CDCR staff, acknowledging that true safety lies outside of incarceration.

2. Cultural Transformation within CDCR: Recommending an overhaul of staff training on sexual harassment and misconduct, mental health screenings for staff, policy reviews by formerly incarcerated consultants, and promoting community-building efforts among incarcerated people.

 

3. Enhanced Services for Survivors: Advocating for improved collaboration with Rape Crisis Centers (RCCs), the provision of remote emotional support services, and increasing access and funding for on-site survivor support services.

4. Revamping the Investigation and Reporting Process: Proposing a more confidential, accessible, and independent system for reporting and investigating staff misconduct, to protect reporters from immediate retaliation and ensure appropriate institutional response to abuse.

5. Institutional Accountability: Calling for strengthened whistleblower protections, penalties for body-worn camera deactivation, and external oversight to ensure compliance with recommended changes.

The report stands firm on not increasing CDCR’s budget to implement these changes but rather suggests reallocating existing funds and reducing the prison population as part of a broader strategy to eliminate sexual abuse within the system.

2023 Year End Review

 

In 2023, CCWP members dreamed boldly about abolishing women’s prisons, and we worked hard to make our dreams of prison abolition real, here in California and around the globe.

Check out our Together We Rise, Together We Heal page, or read the full digital report for a closer look at our amazing accomplishments in 2023. 

 

All of our work is made possible by your donations, monetary and volunteering. Please consider donating to help further our work. 

Update on Dublin Women’s Facility

Press Release

Federal Judge Orders Appointment of Special Master to Oversee FCI Dublin, Prison where Sexual Assault Against Incarcerated People Runs Rampant. [Content warning: this press release mentions SA, r*pe]

See the March 15, 2024 Press Release. 

On Jan. 5, currently incarcerated women testified in federal court before US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers that they have difficulty accessing medical and mental health care and face retaliation if they report staff misconduct.

Read More From KQED Here

Press Release

CCWP is a plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against the Bureau of Prisons (BOP).

See the August 16, 2023 Press Release.  

Press Conference and Rally
Dublin Women’s Prison Faces Class-Action Lawsuit Over Sexual Abuse Scandal. Read full article here or at KQED.
 

New Report: Maximizing Time, Maximizing Punishment

The Lived Experience of Long-Term Sentences in California Women’s Prisons

The University of California Sentencing Project (UCSP), in collaboration with the California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP) and the UCLA Center for the Study of Women|Streisand Center, is proud to announce the release of its groundbreaking report: “Maximizing Time, Maximizing Punishment: The Lived Experience of Long-Term Sentences in California Women’s Prisons.”

 

 

 

Share the new report widely using the toolkit!

Toolkit: bit.ly/FromCrisis2Care

Fact Sheet

📢⏰ The time for change is NOW! ⏰📢

Read & share the public health research on the ways that women’s prison s harm health and the investments California could be making instead. 📲 humanimpact.org/HealthNotWomensPrisons

🗣This new report, “From Crisis to Care: Ending the Health Harm of Women’s Prisons,” documents the many ways that incarceration in women’s prisons harms the health of cisgender women and transgender, gender-variant, and intersex people and recommends health-promoting community supports we could be investing in instead.

California has already taken significant steps towards reducing its carceral footprint by decreasing its women’s prison population by 70.8% through state policy changes. 💥 Folsom State Prison women’s units have already been emptied, and the facility is set to close down in 2023.

But we MUST do more! California has a chance to lead the nation in ending the harm caused by incarceration. We can close the two remaining women’s prisons, release the small fraction of the state’s incarcerated population who are housed there, and invest the MILLIONS budgeted for these prisons into community-based programs that promote health and prevent incarceration. By doing this, we can provide essential support services for successful reentry into society. 💖

It’s time to shift –  #FromCrisis2Care!

#HealthNotPunishment          #CareNotCages               #CloseCAPrisons