Together We Rise, Together We Heal

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. Below is a snapshot of our victories this year—check out our digital pamphlet for more.
  • We fought hard to free Marisela Andrade from 17+ months in ICE detention and helped Marisela win her bond hearing in March 2023.  Marisela is now continuing her fight for asylum and a pardon from Governor Newsom (sign her petition here). We helped Nataly Marinero, a Salvadoran transgender immigrant, win his parole in March 2023. Despite threats of an ICE hold and deportation, Nataly was released to the community on September 7th as a result of strong community support. These wins happened because together we can sustain each other in fighting for justice no matter what!
  • We took advantage of new and exciting opportunities to amplify our work nationally and internationally: Romarilyn Ralston represented us at a prison abolition conference in Germany; Chyrl Lamar and Romarilyn attended the Free Her Conference in Puerto Rico to report on CCWP’s programs and connect with women prison activists from all over the U.S. CCWP also worked as part of a national coalition to submit a complaint to a United Nations special rapporteur against death by incarceration/extreme sentencing in the United States. Susan Bustamante and Kelly Savage-Rodriguez, both survivors of Life Without Parole sentences, traveled along with Courtney Hanson to the 139th session of the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. The petition and the presentations from this national coalition resulted in the U.N. Human Rights Committee officially calling on the United States to end Death by Incarceration sentences, including the recommendation of a moratorium on Life Without Parole sentences.
  • After helping to form the Dublin Prison Solidarity Coalition, CCWP became the organizational plaintiff along with eight individuals in a class action lawsuit against the U.S. Bureau of Prisons and officials at FCI-Dublin, a federal women’s prison in the Bay Area. The lawsuit was initiated to bring systemic change to the prison and stop the rampant sexual abuse against women, trans women and men, and gender non-conforming people incarcerated there, a decades-long pattern of violence. 
  • After years of work to win reparations legislation, CCWP has supported dozens of people who were forcibly sterilized by CDCr (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation) in submitting their applications; over 100 survivors have won their reparations awards. CCWP’s members, inside and out, have created a quilt, “Together  We Rise, Together We Heal” to honor the healing, hope, and resilience of everyone affected by CDCr’s barbaric policies of forced sterilization.
  • CCWP co-authored a report, “From Crisis to Care: Ending the Health Harm of Women’s Prisons,” with the CURB Coalition (Californians United for a Responsible Budget) and Human Impact Partners (HIP). The report details the damage to public health that results from incarcerating people in women’s prisons, and will help us educate our communities and the public about why closing women’s prisons is necessary. 
  • Looking towards the future, CCWP launched #ClosureIsPossible, a campaign to make California women’s prisons obsolete. Decades of work has convinced us that women’s prisons only perpetuate trauma and harm. Together we can create gateways to freedom for the 3,400 people in women’s prisons and insist that California invest in community controlled resources that are health promoting and life affirming instead of prisons.

Read Our Full End of Year Report