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Gov. Jerry Brown signs SB 1135, Prison Anti-Sterilization Bill

On Sept. 25, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law SB 1135, the prison anti-sterilization bill authored by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson and bi-partisan co-authors and sponsored by legal and human rights organization Justice Now. The bill proceeded to the governor’s desk after passing with unanimous floor votes out of both the Senate and Assembly, with support from organizations like ACLU Northern California and Black Women for Wellness.

Women in solitary confinement: ‘The isolation degenerates us into madness’

A mass prisoner hunger strike rocked California’s prison system this past summer, drawing international attention to the extensive use of solitary confinement in the United States. Nearly all of the attention, however, has focused on solitary confinement in men’s prisons; much less is known about the conditions and experiences inside women’s prisons.

Women in solitary: ‘Last night another girl hung herself’

The recent conversion of Valley State Prison for Women into a male facility has led to a dramatic increase in the use of solitary confinement: Ad Seg at CCWF and the SHU at CIW. Concurrently, there have been several suicides in Ad Seg and the SHU in recent months, at least one from an alleged “overdose.” The excerpt from the letter quoted above is one of many that indicates how desperate the situation is.

A strategy meant to break me fuels my passion for human...

I am an inmate at Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) in Chowchilla, California. In April 2013, I and another individual were falsely accused of sexual assault and placed in Administrative Segregation (Ad-Seg) immediately. I was forced to face the loss of my job assignment, property, good living quarters, placement and status in groups and organizations.

Chowchilla Freedom Rally: It just ain’t right

Young women at the Chowchilla Freedom Rally Jan. 26 spoke out passionately for their sisters in a prison packed to nearly double its capacity, demanding that the 4,500 prisoners eligible for release be freed. At least 400 people came from all over California to show their support for the women locked up in the Central California Women’s Facility, currently the state’s only women’s prison.

Chowchilla Freedom Rally to draw hundreds of Bay Area residents to...

Hundreds of Bay Area residents will be getting on buses and into cars Saturday morning, Jan. 26, making the long trek to Chowchilla where they will join hundreds of other Californians at a Freedom Rally in protest of horrendous living conditions in the notorious prison, Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF). Let’s make enough noise so that the decision makers in Sacramento have no choice but to hear our demands! Solidarity actions are encouraged! Read more for when, where and how to get there ...

California releases plan to cut billions in prison spending

Monday the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) released “The Future of California Corrections: A Blueprint to Save Billions of Dollars, End Federal Court Oversight and Improve the Prison System,” an attempt to overhaul and redirect a prison system that has been floundering for at least a decade.

Isolation, indeterminate sentences used to extract confessions at California supermax prisons

Adding to Kevin Gosztola’s recent coverage of the hunger strike at Pelican Bay prison ... I want to look more closely at one of the prisoner’s demands, in particular their call for the abolition of the “debriefing process.”

Repression breeds resistance!

Reaching at least 6,600 prisoners across 13 prisons, this massive and inspiring act of solidarity and people power across prison-manufactured and exacerbated racial and geographic lines has dumb-founded the CDCR (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation).

Mobilize to support the hunger strike! Let’s win this fight!

At least 400 prisoners at Pelican Bay continue to refuse food and thousands more around the state are striking in solidarity, making it the largest hunger strike in the history of the embattled California prison system. “We are urging our state representatives and Gov. Brown to step in and force the CDCR to recognize the prisoners’ demands,” says Manuel La Fontaine.

Perpetrators and enablers of torture in the U.S.

During the past 25 years I’ve spent a lot of time with survivors of torture, men and women enduring long term solitary confinement in California’s prisons. The single way offered to earn their way out is to tell departmental gang investigators everything they know about gang membership and activities. The prisoners call it “snitch, parole or die.”

‘Jailhouse Lawyers’ by Mumia Abu-Jamal

“Jailhouse Lawyers, we are learning, are often people of extraordinary firmness who fight for a law that rarely fights for them.” “Unity is feared ... isolation is favored.” – from “Jailhouse Lawyers: Prisoners Defending Prisoners v. the U.S.A.” by politically condemned death row prisoner, journalist and former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal “This landmark legislation (Prison Litigation Reform Act) will help bring relief to a civil justice system overburdened by frivolous prisoner lawsuits. Jailhouse lawyers with nothing else to do are tying our courts in knots with an endless flood of frivolous litigation.” – Sen. Orrin Hatch, former chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee

Wanda’s Picks updated Jan. 13

The Coalition Against Police Execution (CAPE) will hold the Praying for Peace, Working for Justice March and Rally at Oakland's City Hall Wednesday, Jan. 14, at 4 p.m. as the Oakland community continues to demand justice in the senseless murder of Oscar Grant by BART police.

Letest News

Black History Month in the Fillmore

Black History Month 2019 exploded at the Fillmore Heritage Center with 17 events that celebrated different facets of our very diverse community. There was Fiyah Friday, Fillmore legend LaRon Mayfield’s Aquarius Bash featuring DJ Drama, the weekly Tuesday Bluesday, the Samba Percussion class, a Night of R&Bay featuring DJs DJ 12 and Black Marc, The Global African Experience presentation by the legendary historian Runoko Rashidi, an intimate and epic evening with the Grammy award winning R&B group Tony! Toni! Tone! and the African Diaspora party.

Menthol milestone, the anniversary no one is celebrating

Menthol has been the tobacco industry’s recruitment tool for far too long. It has been added to cigarettes for nearly a century, masking tobacco’s harsh flavor, making the smoke feel smoother and easier to inhale – but that ease comes with a price. The smoothness of menthol allows smokers to inhale more deeply, so harmful particles can settle lower in the lungs. Menthol cigarettes are also harder to stop – people who use menthol cigarettes have a lower rate of successfully quitting.

Celebrate Dr. Hannibal Williams for making a difference – keep his...

Liberation House, the first residential facility for treatment of drug and alcohol addiction that reached out to Afro-American men, is another example of its founder, Dr. Williams, making a difference. During its 30 years of operation, Liberation House was an extremely successful drug and alcohol rehabilitation program which successfully helped thousands of men from every walk of life attain their sobriety.

Why we love Jeff Adachi

Jeff Adachi was the only official in this city we could trust to fight for us, the Black and Brown and poor San Franciscans being bulldozed out by a city drunk on its wealth and power. San Francisco’s jails are 57 percent Black, yet Blacks are down to about 3 percent of the population. Those were his clients.

Celebrate Cultural Landmark designation of the Arthur Coleman Medical Center

You’re invited! Please join us at the Coleman Medical Center on Tuesday, March 26, for an open house from 4:30-6:30 p.m., 6301 Third St. (at Ingerson), San Francisco 94124. Visit this landmark center for Black health! Meet the staff and board of the Bayview Hunters Point Clinic. RSVP please to health@bayviewclinic.org. The event is free.