Updates on Women Prisons


When A Prison Closes – L.A. Times Op-Ed

The scheduled deactivation of California Correctional Center has become a hot-button issue for the town of Susanville, sparking anger and a still-pending lawsuit to prevent the prison from closing at all. The fears of residents who have become dependent on prisons for their livelihood have been covered widely in the media, but …

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Krystal Shelley, who does not identify as male or female and is Black, said that while they were sharing a cell with their partner at Valley State Prison for Women, correctional officers planted a shank under their mattress. Shelley was sent to the SHU.

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In blistering ruling Federal judge orders video surveillance & body cams in 5 CA prisons to stop abuse of men & women with disabilities

On Thursday, March 11, Senior U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken handed down a blistering ruling that ordered the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to institute a series of changes with which the judge hopes to put a stop to what she describes as a pattern of systemic abuse of incarcerated people with disabilities at five of the state’s prisons.

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Mary J. Blige writes for survivors, those who want to survive

After watching the documentary “Belly of the Beast,” Mary J. Blige was incredulous. “I could not believe what I was seeing,” Blige said. “But somewhere in the back of my mind, all my life, I always felt like women weren’t being treated properly in prisons. Black women were just being treated like slaughtered pigs.”

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Vulnerable Inmates Left in Prison as Covid Rages

The Danbury Federal Correction Institution in Connecticut is one of three federal prisons that were singled out for prompt action last spring by former Attorney General William Barr because of its vulnerability to Covid outbreaks. At a federal compound in Connecticut, inmates in precarious health “are like sitting ducks,” one lawyer said.

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No End In Sight: America’s Enduring Reliance on Life Imprisonment

Before America’s era of mass incarceration took hold in the early 1970s, the number of individuals in prison was less than 200,000. Today, it’s 1.4 million; and more than 200,000 people are serving life sentences – one out of every seven in prison. More people are sentenced to life in prison in America than there were people in prison serving any sentence in 1970.

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On the Need for Health Justice in the Prison System

In need of a life-saving bone marrow transplant for leukemia and positive for COVID, DeReta Steverson, incarcerated at the California Institution for Women (CIW), is still not eligible for compassionate release in California, even under the state’s much-hyped release program.

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