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Women prisoners plead for help

April 10, 2014

Two women writing to expose abuse that has terrorized them at CIW (California Institution for Women) wish not to reveal their identities for fear of more retaliation.

by M at CIW

The staff here seems to condone violence. There were a few girls fighting. It was really bad. They even cut one inmate. Instead of moving one or more of them, they are keeping them in the same unit.

California Institution for Women overcrowded day room houses prisoners 091311 by LA Times
In 2011, the California Institution for Women was so overcrowded this day room was being used to house prisoners. – Photo: LA Times
The one that cut the other did not even go to Ad-Seg. Some of them have black eyes from being beat up all the time. Yet the staff is not moving them to safety, nor taking the abusers out.

It is very violent here at night. You can hear the fighting, screaming and later crying, yet staff does not stop it; they do not intervene at all. Staff hangs out right outside our windows but never comes to see if anyone is hurt.

There are seven women with their faces all beat: cuts and bruises, black eyes. One was beat so severely her eye is swollen shut.

My mind is on the brink of a breakdown. I cannot take this for much longer.

Please call up here or ask someone to please come help us.

The staff here seems to condone violence.

I was returning to my cell when a staff member appeared out of nowhere. She grabbed my wrist and started dragging me behind her down the hall. She was yelling, “You do not belong out here.”

It was not necessary to use force on me. I would have gone to her or stopped walking had she asked me to. I have put in a complaint, but I fear now they will start messing with me or allow another inmate to beat me.

This is a small setting, and all the shady, violent stuff should not be going on like this. Girls are written up all the time no matter how hard they try to keep good time.

We have no voice. There is no one to help us. PLEASE HELP!

Right after going to the bathroom they came in and demanded a urine sample. The woman said she couldn’t pee but would try. The sample was too small. She was written up.

Everyone is locked down every day for 22 hours a day. We have no visitation or time outside; this is just another way to put us in lockdown 23 hours a day. I am becoming so depressed, I just don’t know how much more I can stand.

We have no voice. There is no one to help us. PLEASE HELP!


by E.G., moved from CIW to CCWF

The CO (correctional officer) beat me up pretty badly while I was in the SHU at CIW. They then transferred me to CCWF for my safety.

Please try to reach my folks for me. (These letters were written to the loved one of another prisoner.) I am not allowed phone calls because they have placed me in isolation here also. Please, I need them to know I have been moved again and what has happened to me.

How you can help

Contact the CIW warden, Kimberly Hughes, at California Institution for Women, 16756 Chino-Corona Road, Corona, CA 92880, 909-597-1771.


0 thoughts on “Women prisoners plead for help

  1. FrankfactsIII

    Front-page news (well, actualy, front page of the Part II section of an accredited newspaper) of innocent, wrongly-convicted women freed (Mary Virginia Jones – 32 years; Gloria Killain – 17-1/2 years; Mary Ann Leigh – 24 years; Maria Suarez – 24 years; Eve Wingfield – 2 years). Front-page news stories (sometimes, only on the Part II section of the newspaper) of wrongly-convicted men who were innocent of all wrongdoing (Dewayne McKinney – 19 years; Kevin Green – 16 years; Herman Atkins – 12 years; Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt – 26 years). But, it is the completely ignored stories of women—especially black women, the most neglected and oppressed bunch of all—that continues to be the worse. Governor Brown needs to do the courageous moral action that Governor John Ryan did some 15 years ago in Illonois: allow the presentation of factual evidence of innocents and/or Un-Constitutional abuse and mistreatment at the hands of corrections officials—and just free EN MASS these much too-abused incarcerated women. Somebody, in the Brown Administration—please use common sense and moral authority: FREE MOST OF THESE WOMEN (convicted before 2004) NOW!

  2. FrankfactsIII

    In addition to the comments above, this is important—when you think about women in prison; crime and punishment; what people really need to be in prison, and suffer harsh punishment for years, even for the rest of their lives, and those who never should be incarcerated at all: 1.) Women, in fear of their lives after numerous factual beatings and threats, and who use lethal force for self-defense, DID NOT COMMIT ANY CRIMES. 2.) Women who have not-strings-attached sex with underage teen boys DID NOT COMMIT ANY SERIOUS DANGEROUS CRIME (teen boys cannot be harmed by young and middle-aged women having sex with them: three rare exceptions only). 3.) Women and men, addicted to drugs SHOULD NOT BE SENT TO PRISON; THAT'S NOT A CRIME! 4.) Women, factually innocent of any wrongdoing (Gloria Killian; Maria Suarez; Eve Wingfield; Jackie Lynn Anderson; Brenda Kniffen) are NOT GUILTY OF ANY CRIME WHATSOEVER; DON'T SEND THEM TO PRISON OR EVEN JAIL! Though no statistics exist, a rough estimate is that some 50% of incarcerated women are innocent and/or never should have been sent to prison in the first place.


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