Curated by the California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP)
This political education resource was first circulated online on March 20, 2020. It was last updated on April 19, 2020.
CCWP is a grassroots social justice organization, with members inside and outside prison, that challenges the institutional violence imposed on women, transgender people, and communities of color by the prison industrial complex (PIC). We see the struggle for racial and gender justice as central to dismantling the PIC and we prioritize the leadership of the people, families, and communities most impacted in building this movement.
Founded in 1995, CCWP grew out of the fight for the health of incarcerated people in California’s women’s prisons. A documentary about CCWP co-founder, Charisse Shumate, is available to watch free online. Charisse was a life term prisoner incarcerated for 16 years at the Central California Women’s Facility. She became a lead plaintiff and spokesperson in a class action lawsuit challenging the medical neglect and abuse of women prisoners (Shumate v. Wilson). She died of complications from sickle cell anemia, cancer, and hepatitis C.
All of the following recommended readings are available online and free to access. In addition, you can find more than twenty years of writing across prison walls on issues of medical neglect, abuse, and violence in the online archive of CCWP’s inside/outside newsletter, The Fire Inside.