How Does Obamacare Impact Women of Color and People in Prison?

My latest post on Bitchmedia looks at the intersections of race, gender and incarceration when examining the impact of the Affordable Care Act:

When Mercedes Smith (above) first came home from prison, she was able to sign up for Medicaid. Then she got a part-time job, which pushed her over Medicaid's low-income guidelines. Unable to afford insurance even after getting a second part-time job, Mercedes has gone without health care for the past three years. When she needs urgent care, she goes to the emergency room.

Sara Kruzan to Be Paroled (Finally!)

LOS ANGELES -- LOS ANGELES (AP) — California Gov. Jerry Brown has decided to allow freedom to a woman who received a life sentence when she was a teenager for killing her former pimp.

Brown decided late Friday not to take action on a state parole board's decision to grant parole to Sara Kruzan, thereby allowing the decision to go into effect, his spokesman Evan Westrup said Saturday.

Kruzan was 17 when she was sentenced to die in prison for the 1994 shooting death of George Gilbert Howard in a Riverside motel room.

Curious about who's locked up in America? Helpful infographic

America has the largest correctional budget of the world.

Largest Spending States Total:
2.)New York:$3,600,000,000

Largest Spending per prisoner:
1.)New York:$60,076
2.)New Jersey:$54,865
5.)Rhode Island:$49,133

Total Spending: $39,000,000,000
That’s 2/3 of the entire public education budget

from a CA women's prison: A strategy meant to break me fuels my passion for human rights

Amy Preasmyer's powerful article was just published in the SF Bayview. California Coalition for Women Prisoners has visited Amy for several years and supported her when she wanted to write about her recent terrible experience with Administrative Segregation at CCWF.

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.

We Need to Stop Shackling Pregnant Women in Prison—Now.

Last week, Washington DC councilmember David Grosso introduced a bill that would keep jails from shackling women during any point of their pregnancy and for six weeks after they've given birth.

“I have introduced this legislation because it is an important human rights issue that must be addressed in D.C.," said Grosso.

Washington DC has one of only a handful of American jail and prison systems that prohibits shackling during childbirth, but only after incarcerated women filed a class action lawsuit.

NYC! Thurs, Oct 17th: Perspectives on healing justice on the "inside": from prison abolition to mindfulness in prisons

Reform or revolution? Can the prison system be changed to not perpetuate harm? Yoga teachers might answer yes. Community organizers might answer no.

Do you practice yoga or meditation to sustain your work for justice?

NYC! Sat, Oct 19, 3-5 pm: Reproductive Justice: From Birthing Behind Bars to Breaking Down Barriers

a discussion in conjunction with the exhibition This is an Emergency!

at Interference Archive 131 8th Street — #4
Brooklyn, NY 11215

2 recent radio interviews

Last week I appeared on the Michelle Jackson Show on KRXA to talk about the ending of the recent California Prison Hunger Strike and conditions facing women and trans people in prison, both in and out of California.

You can listen to the podcast of the show here:

California Prison Hunger Strike Ends on Day 60

Thursday, September 5, marked Day 60 of California's mass prisoner hunger strike. It also marked the end of the strike.

The strike began on Monday, July 8, with 30,000 people across California's prison system refusing meals. Some vowed to refuse food until their demands were met or their bodies gave out.

On September 5, both the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, (CDCR) and prisoner advocates announced that the strike had ended.

"Our decision to suspend our third hunger strike in two years does not come lightly.

NEW on Truthout: What Awaits Chelsea Manning as She Begins Her Sentence as the Military's First Openly Trans Woman?

"Chelsea Manning is the only openly trans woman housed at Leavenworth," Aaron Myracle, a former Military Police soldier, told Truthout. "The US Detention Barracks doesn't have a policy in place for how to deal with trans people."

Given that dubious distinction, what can Chelsea Manning expect as she begins her thirty-five year sentence at the US Detention Barracks at Fort Leavenworth?

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