Stop the Conversion of Valley State Prison from a Women's to a Men's Prison
  • Petitioned CA's Gov. Brown, CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate & Judge T. Henderson,

This petition was delivered to:

CA's Gov. Brown, CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate & Judge T. Henderson,

Stop the Conversion of Valley State Prison from a Women's to a Men's Prison

    1. Petition by

      California Coalition for Women Prisoners and Justice Now

"We inside cannot vote.  We cannot lobby Sacramento.  All we want is to live...  Will you hear our pleas for humanity and dignity?"  A statement written by women in California's prisons.

Shown in the photo are 550 letters Justice Now has received since the CDCR’s official notice on December 23, 2011 that it would convert VSPW.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is planning to convert Valley State Prison for Women (VSPW) into a men’s prison. Instead of releasing thousands of women who are eligible to go home, CDCR is planning to transfer them to them to the two remaining women’s prisons: Central California Women's Facility and California Institution for Women. This conversion and the crowding of women—including pregnant and elderly women—into facilities that are already far above capacity will intensify by horrific proportions the medical neglect and premature death already rampant in women’s prisons. Cells that were designed to house 4 now house 8 and will house 10; the overflow of people will be packed into day rooms and gyms.

Although California passed an Alternative Custody bill for women in 2010, to date fewer than 20 women have been deemed eligible for release under this bill. Over 700 people at VSPW and CCWF have already signed petitions to stop this conversion plan and the transfer of  people in women’s prisons to other overcrowded facilities. 

To read a statement written by people in women’s prisons opposed to the conversion and demanding relief, visit www.jnow.org.

Other organizations who endorse this petition are:

All of Us or None, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, San Francisco Bay View newspaper, Redwood Curtain CopWatch, Peoples' Action for Rights and Community, Community Futures Collective, LEF Foundation, Coalition to Free The Angola Three, Solitary Watch, The Real Cost of Prisons Project, California Prison Moratorium Project, Senate Select Community Committee on California's Correctional System, Action Committee for Women in Prison, Prisoners Are People Too, Inc. (Buffalo, NY) and Community Works West.

If you want your organization listed as an endorser, please email info@womenprisoners.org

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 250 signatures
    2. Support is growing! To add your organization email info@womenprisoners.org

      Our communities have endured and suffered forced removals and relocations of people openly and under false pretexts for generations. Even though no prison is where anyone wants to or needs to be, closing and moving women out of this one, making space to cage more men, is yet another uprooting to the detriment, and against the will of, people rendered powerless and whose humanity is disregarded.

      All of Us or None, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, San Francisco Bay View newspaper, Redwood Curtain CopWatch, Peoples' Action for Rights and Community, Community Futures Collective, LEF Foundation, Coalition to Free The Angola Three, Solitary Watch, The Real Cost of Prisons Project, California Prison Moratorium Project, Senate Select Community Committee on California's Correctional System, Action Committee for Women in Prison, Prisoners Are People Too, Inc. (Buffalo, NY) and Community Works West.

    3. State halts Chowchilla prison switch

      This is a HUGE People's Victory!

      It is a very important instance where pressure of people inside prison and community activists have exposed a major violation of human rights by the prison system- before it occurred! Now that we have stopped them from barreling ahead, we must use these next months to make them do everything in full disclosure and use this issue to highlight the reality of who is in prison, what it's like and how we need to break it down!

      The list of sponsoring organizations is growing. Let us know if you want to be listed at info@womenprisoners.org

      All of Us or None, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, San Francisco Bay View newspaper, Redwood Curtain CopWatch, Peoples' Action for Rights and Community, Community Futures Collective, LEF Foundation, Coalition to Free The Angola Three, Solitary Watch, The Real Cost of Prisons Project, California Prison Moratorium Project, Senate Select Community Committee on California's Correctional System, Prisoners Are Pe

    4. Reached 100 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Martha Escobar SAN DIEGO, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      This proposal does not address overcrowding; it just shifts bodies from one site of incarceration to another. In the process it causes tremendous emotional and spiritual damage to those most impacted-our incarcerated community members.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Craig Seligman APPLE VALLEY, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      My wife is incarcerated at CIW. Already overcrowded conditions make this and other women's prisons dangerous and unhealthy. This will be greatly exacerbated by removing one of the 3 facilities for women prisoners. However, if CDCR actually encourages ACP to work as mandated by law, there may be no need for a third women's prison.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Karen Pitts FOLSOM, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      I have a niece in prison and there is far more chance for violence when inmates are crowded together.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Bruce Higgins IRWIN, PA
      • over 2 years ago

      Have a friend at VSPW.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Maureen O'Sullivan WILLITS, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      Mass incarceration for slave labor is what the U.S. prison system has become and what a disgrace the U.S. is today. The U.S. is no longer the land of the free with the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 the U.S. no longer even has a Constitution

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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