Release Elizabeth Lozano, Beloved Community Member & Mother With Chronic Health Issues

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Pictured: Elizabeth “Liz” Lozano with her son, Kevin.

Elizabeth “Liz” Lozano is a 45-year-old mother and beloved community member who has been incarcerated for over 26 years. Formerly sentenced to Juvenile Life Without the Possibility of Parole (LWOP), Liz became eligible for parole in February 2019. Liz suffers from asthma, COPD, lupus, and neuropathy, conditions which make her extremely vulnerable to COVID-19.

With the recent outbreak of COVID-19 in CCWF, Liz's situation has become incredibly dire. We ask you to join us, Liz’s family, and the California Coalition for Women Prisoners in asking that Liz be released and reunited with her family. 

Liz lives in the Honor Dorm in CCWF and has been commended by prison staff, the City of San Joaquin, and California state senators for her participation in the Beyond Incarceration Program, which works with at-risk youth via Skype. She helped to found the Juvenile Offenders Committee (JOC), which provides a support system for women at CCWF who were sentenced as adults when they were juveniles. Liz is a certified drug and alcohol counselor. Before the pandemic, Liz was working hard to develop a cat fostering program for CCWF.

On July 22, 2020, Liz was abruptly removed from her room and placed in quarantine along with 38 other people, due to an exposure to the virus at her work assignment. Liz is not a critical worker. Her job, which was shut down due to COVID-19, was reopened in the middle of the pandemic. There are currently at least six infected people in CCWF. Medical staff at CCWF agreed that Liz, as a high-risk patient, should not have been quarantined with so many other people. 

Many people report that quarantine is extremely chaotic and stressful. People - including at least six infected individuals - are confined to two-person cells, but people have witnessed nurses and deputies moving between patients without changing their gloves. People in quarantine also share the same showers, regardless of infection status.

The COVID-19 outbreak has already caused significant delays in Liz’s medical care. In 1998, Liz received an ultrasound at CCWF that indicated chronic kidney disease. Medical staff recommended further testing, but for the past twenty-two years, Liz never received any further tests to diagnose her condition. Her medical appointments have been canceled many times since April.

During her incarceration, Liz has demonstrated her remorse in healthy and productive ways, by participating in self-help groups and therapy to deepen her understanding of her behavior, actions, and the lifelong impact it has had on her victim’s family. Liz hopes to make amends by mentoring young people, and she is always looking for ways to help within CCWF. She has also developed new skills and earned a number of accreditations. Liz earned her associates degree at Feather River College in Behavioral and Social Sciences, and most recently received her certification as a Legal Assistant/Paralegal. 

Liz has devoted herself to building community inside CCWF. She is a long-term and beloved member of the California Coalition for Women Prisoners, and is always ready to help someone in need. Liz helped to draft and distribute a pamphlet on suicide and overdose prevention for her peers. In 2015, Liz organized a Health and Wellness fair at CCWF, which offered resources regarding substance abuse, transgender support, disability services and trauma. She has supported her peers in healing from histories of sexual abuse and domestic violence. 

Liz has well-developed parole plans and an extensive support network who are looking forward to facilitating her reentry. She is also supported by her son, mother, and brother.

Messages From Liz's Family

“My mom has been incarcerated for over 26 years. I was four months old when she went into the system. Originally she was sentenced to juvenile life without parole, a draconian sentence that equals death. For many years I lived with hope that her circumstances would change, and that change came in 2019 when she became parole eligible. My mom has worked very hard on her rehabilitation and has continued to educate herself. She has shared with me her deep remorse of the actions that brought her to prison and this is what has made her into the woman she is today: the selfless leader, mentor, and advocate that many know inside prison and the outside community. 

Recently CDCR exposed my mom to COVID-19 by making her work at a non-critical job. Threatening her with disciplinary action if she didn't show up knowing how contagious this virus is, showing plain disregard for her well-being. To make matters worse she is being quarantined with people who have tested positive, including 4 individuals she worked with. I'm worried about my mom because of her high risk medical condition. She deserves a second chance. Please help bring awareness to this injustice and also bring my mom home!” -- Kevin, Liz’s son

“I've been doing 26 years along with my daughter Elizabeth. She was 16 years old at the time of her offense. My daughter has shown her remorse through her growth, rehabilitation, and helping at risk youth in honor of her victim. It would be unjust to lose my daughter due to the negligence of the prison. Please help bring my daughter Elizabeth home!” -- Teresa, Liz’s mom

“I have seen my sister grow in the Women’s Correctional Facility for the past 26 years. We keep in touch almost every day. There is not a day that goes by where she shares her deep remorse on her actions as a juvenile. She carries that deep wound and she will carry it for the rest of her life. My sister became eligible for parole and has been waiting her time to go through the process. With all this, she has also been waiting to go back home to her son who she left behind at 6 months when she was sentenced to life in prison.

Recently the COVID-19 pandemic hit our entire globe where many are dying from this virus that has many unknowns. We thought that the prison system would have been able to contain the virus and keep the inmates safe however, that is not the case. My sister was forced to be part of a program where the teacher was COVID-19 positive and exposed my sister to the virus. My sister has pre-medical conditions where if she is infected by the virus, it could mean her life.

I am asking for your assistance to please help bring awareness to the situation that is happening in the California Women's Correctional Facility. Please help in bringing home my sister. Please don’t let this be a sentence where it will cost her life and never have a chance to be a mom to her son or experience a second chance at life. Please bring Liz home.---Richard, Liz's brother