end-of-the-year writing roundup: domestic violence survivors in prison and more

I didn't intend my end-of-the-year writing to focus so much on abuse survivors behind bars, but it did.

My latest on Solitary Watch: A Girl Hung Herself Yesterday

My latest on Solitary Watch examines deaths at the California Institution for Women this year.
On July 30, 2014, Margarita Murugia was found hanging in her solitary confinement cell at the California Institution for Women (CIW). “She was there for her own protection, not because she did something,” wrote April Harris, a woman currently incarcerated at CIW. ” Apparently her mom was dying of cancer and they refused to let her see her mom. She tried to kill herself with every denied request.

New issue of Tenacious: Art & Writings by Women in Prison now available

Hot off the copying machine! Issue 33 of Tenacious: Art & Writings by Women in Prison is now available.

Contents include:

  • how a Truth in Sentencing law affects one woman in prison
  • reflections on 26 years in prison
  • higher education in one women's prison
  • pregnancy and parenting in a midwestern women's prison
  • sexual abuse and sex offender labels
  • surviving sexual assault behind bars
  • rising above defeat and depression
  • and more!

A Mother Who Just Wanted to Know When Her Son Would Eat

I'm happy to announce that my latest piece on Waging NonViolence focuses on the organizing of family members of people who have spent years, if not decades, in California's Security Housing Units (aka extreme isolation or solitary confinement).

The temperature in Corona, Calif., can soar above 100 degrees in the summer, sometimes climbing as high as 110.

What do Private Prisons Have to do with the Upcoming Elections?

My latest on Truthout examines private prisons, campaign contributions, personal investments and the upcoming election:
What do private prisons have to do with the upcoming elections?

Let's start with several hundred thousand dollars in campaign contributions.

Idaho, for instance, has recently seen how campaign contributions can ease corporate accountability when scandals and lawsuits hit.

Sun, Oct 26: Building Community to Transform Our Criminal Justice System (Kingston, NY)

The LGBTQ Task Force to Undo Mass Incarceration and Institutional Racism invites you to join us for a panel discussion on

Building Community to Transform Our Criminal Justice System

October 26, 2014
3:00-5:00 pm
LGBTQ Community Center
300 Wall Street
Kingston, NY

KingstonKingston The speakers include:

Victoria Law
Author of Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women

Imogene Simmons-Kelly

Wed, Nov 12th: Screening, critical commentary and discussion of Orange is the New Black at Hostos Community College

Orange is the New BlackOrange is the New BlackWed, November 12th, 3 - 4:45 pm

Hostos Community College
500 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10451

Thurs, Oct 9--"Prison is a Form of Violence Against Women" at CUNY Grad Center

Thursday, October 9, 6:30-8:30 pm

As part of the Interference Archive exhibition Self-Determination Inside & Out, I'm going to be part of a curated video program and discussion (off-site).

The videos and discussion examine criminalized self defense, negligent healthcare, and "protective" isolation in order to explore organizing against prisons as organizing against gender violence. With Sara Kruzan (remotely), Victoria Law, and Cecily McMillan.

NOTE: The program is NOT at the Interference Archive.

Sat, Sept 13--"Women Prisoners & America's Incarceration Crisis" at the Signature Theater, NYC

Join me, Mary Johnson from the Coming Home program of St. Luke's Hospital, and Vivian Nixon of the College and Community Fellowship for a panel discussion about the changing attitudes towards women's imprisonment. From the reformatory idealism of the Progressive Era to the current mass incarceration crisis and the War on Drugs, how does the criminal justice system continue to perpetuate sexual and racial injustice?

Bing Time: What It's Like to Be 16 & in Solitary at Rikers

Sixteen-year-old inmate Trevor Mobley was waiting in line for food on Rikers Island when a Correction officer ordered him to back up.

"I told him, 'I'm next to get food,'" Mobley recalled. But the officer continued to demand that he move, eventually writing Mobley a rule violation for disobeying a direct order and verbal abuse. Mobley, who was awaiting trial for drug possession, was sentenced to 60 days in solitary confinement.

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