“I, Charisse Shumate, wish I could be there with you because, as you grow in numbers for us behind the walls of CCWF, the big cover up is going on inside…Is it because they have forgotten we are human? If walls could talk, we would not have to beg help.” (The Fire Inside, Issue #1, June 1996)

In 1996, CWP began to publish The Fire Inside newsletter, a project initiated by people inside California women’s prisoners in collaboration with former prisoners and other advocates on the outside. As CCWP members inside and outside strategized about how to break through the invisibility of prisoners, the idea of a newsletter was born. What better way to give voice to their experience than to provide a printed forum for prisoners to report to the public and each other about what was really going on? Through the pages of a newsletter, the walls could talk. And so, The Fire Inside was begun. It is now the longest published newsletter by, for, and about people in women”s prison in the U.S. and is read by thousands of people both inside and outside prison.

If you are interested in supporting The Fire Inside, please make a donation. A contribution of $25 sponsors the print subscription for a person in prison. If you know an incarcerated person who is interested in subscribing, please email us at info@womenprisoners.org.