Women prisoners plead for help

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, Women prisoners plead for help, Behind Enemy Lines 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!

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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.