Really California? You can't find enough people whose health is compromised by incarceration?

California-based advocacy group Legal Services for Prisoners with Children drew my attention to this article in which the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is supposedly having a hard time finding people whom it can release from prison to comply with the Supreme Court order to reduce overcrowding:
In documents filed late Thursday in U.S.

Western Massachusetts. Class Action Suit Progresses Against Sheriff Ashe for Strip Searching and Videotaping of Women Prisoners

Originally appeared in The Valley Advocate. Scroll down to near end of page for story. (Being stripped searched by male guards were women going to segregation including women on suicide watch and women who have mental illness.)

Last week the federal appeals court in Boston refused to overturn the opinion of a lower court that a case involving strip searches at the women’s correctional center in Chicopee could go forward as a class action suit.

the continuing adventures in TV land (a further look at the sterilization in CA's women's prisons)

I appeared on Current TV's Viewpoint last night to talk more in depth about the sterilizations that happened in California women's prisons and the issues of reproductive justice (or injustice) happening in women's prisons across the nation.

You can watch a clip of that segment here:

Everyone Should Be Horrified That California Prisons Sterilized Nearly 250 Women

Now up on Bitchmedia:

In 1923, 17-year-old Carrie Buck was raped and impregnated. Her adoptive family, trying to avoid the public shame of having an unwed mother in their midst, had her committed to an institution for the "feeble minded." Because she was supposedly "feeble-minded" and the daughter of an unwed mother herself, the State of Virginia sought to sterilize her and, in 1927, the Supreme Court ruled in its favor.

One would think we've come a long way since 1927.

Resistance Behind Bars enters the world of TV land

I don't have any summer public events planned for Resistance Behind Bars. It doesn't meant that I haven't been talking about issues facing people inside women's prisons though.

This past Saturday, I was on the Melissa Harris-Perry show to talk about the Pelican Bay hunger strikes, the issue of solitary confinement in general, and the sterilization of nearly 150 women in California prisons between 2006 and 2010.

while all eyes are on California's prisons

let's not forget about some less-reported news--the constant and systemic sexualized violence against trans women in the prison system.

New on Truthout: Pelican Bay Two Years Later: Those Still Buried Alive Vowing Hunger Strike "Till the End"

I've been keeping up with the struggles of the people entombed in California's Pelican Bay State Prison's Security Housing Unit (SHU) since they launched their three-week hunger strike in July 2011. Today is the start date of yet another hunger strike demanding an end to indefinite solitary confinement. SHU prisoners are joined by people incarcerated throughout California as well as people in Washington state's adult and juvenile prisons.

Tenacious spotlighted on POC Zine Project

Just before leaving for the Allied Media Conference, I sat down with POC Zine Project founder Daniela Capistrano to give her copies of TENACIOUS (and some of my other zines) for the POC Zine Project and to speak with her about working with incarcerated women writers.

The first part of my interview is now on the POC Zine Project site. You can read it at

(I had meant to post this earlier, but in the flurry of post-AMC deadlines, I forgot.)

New on Bitchmedia: Pathway to Citizenship Bill May Be Pathway to Deportation

I've got a new post on Bitchmedia looking at the implications for greater incarceration/deportation under the Senate's Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act:

Last Thursday, the Senate passed what some have touted as a "sweeping immigration reform bill" by a vote of 68 to 32.

Women in California Prison Isolation Units Face Overcrowding and Despair

With the eyes of prisoner rights and social justice advocates turning to the Pelican Bay hunger strikes next week, let's not forget that women's prisons also have solitary confinement units, subjecting those inside to isolation, torture and abuse.
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