Coming in a day late, but thank you for this.


What else was said during your tour of CCWF? Would love to hear more about what gets touted to people by officials, esp since CDCR responded to the Chowchilla Freedom Rally by offering a media tour the following Monday.


Nancy, this is searing and brilliant.  More pieces of the puzzle, more insight into the nature of the shell game.


Thank you.

nancy a heitzeg
nancy a heitzeg

jsut in




A federal court has given California an extra six months, until the end of the year, to lower its prison population by 9,000 more inmates in order to ease overcrowding and its impact on health care behind bars.


The three-judge court took no action, however, on Gov. Jerry Brown's challenge to the court's insistence on reducing the inmate population any further than it already has, an order that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld in 2011. Brown contends prison health care already meets constitutional standards and further population reductions are both unnecessary and potentially dangerous."


Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Extension-given-to-cut-prison-population-4237201.php#ixzz2JWdhji5i

nancy a heitzeg
nancy a heitzeg

Kay Whitlock is trying to sign in -- hopefully soon



nancy a heitzeg
nancy a heitzeg

If you have made it through this too lengthy post and then down to the comments here – then the Young Brothers and I Salute You!




There is still too much left uncovered

1) The aforementioned issues with denial of health care. I do urge you to watch the stunning documentary on Charisse Shumate, a founding member of the California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP) and wrote regularly for The Fire Inside, the CCWP newsletter. She was a role model for so many women, inside the walls as well as outside, and died on August 4, 2001. Rest in Peace.  The documentary can be found here - http://www.freedomarchives.org/Charisse.html


2) Conditions of work, such as they were, that occurred in horrific and hazardous conditions for the pay rate of 8 – 30 cents per hour. And gendered work at that – cooking, sewing  CA State flags, creating dental appliances for indigent state and county clients. All reminiscent of the old old domestication schemes described by Davis in “How Gender Structures the PIC”.


3) The treatment of LGBTQ inmates. A subject that the tour did not want to voluntarily address, but when questioned responded in the most disparagingly stereotypical  ways.


4)The role of correctional officers in both smuggling in contraband such as drugs and cell phones, profiting personally from inmate labor (in this case, stories of COs having inmates in the auto body paint shop redo their cars for pennies on the hour). And in allowing the persistence of violence (three separate work places on the tour were closed due to “fighting” the day we were there) that seemed to be preventable such as the proverbial “lock in a sock” attack.


5) The institutions revelry in describing the most sensationalistic cases and noting on several occasions that their inmates had been featured on “Snapped: female Killers” (http://oxygen.com/tvshows/snapped/) and “Beyond Scared Straight” (http://www.aetv.com/beyond-scared-straight/ ). In fact. Several women initially mistook our tour group as a Scared Straight group of errant teens (and me I guess J) there for filming of the show.


6) And of course, issues related to juvenile injustice, which we did not directly explore on this trip, but that I imagine are as complicated and ugly as those we encountered in the adult system.


Maybe more on all this next week, when in Old School/New School 3, CI will address what we can learn from the comparisons of Louisiana and California both in terms of common features of the pic and most importantly, pathways to resistance.


Thank you as always for being here.

nancy a heitzeg
nancy a heitzeg


 @Vikki thanks for stopping


more on all this later vikki but for now --


we had to meet with the Warden before and after.. she kept on about what a 'clean" institution she ran.. Sigh


lots of touting of the "work programs" which were horrible and claims of new health care improvements which we did of course not see..we were shocked at the number of women who seemed to have health issue that required canes walkers etc..The women about to give birth etc were housed down south at the other women's facility at Corona -- not CHowchilla so the shackling issue etc was less immediate there


gender stereotyping abounded for the head of the food service referring to the women as "girls", the claims of craziness" and the endless noting of "Snapped" 


bad scene all around..


nancy a heitzeg
nancy a heitzeg

 @KayWhitlock Thank you Kay -- for everything but for right now the shell game confidence man framing


this is where we are at  -- layer upon layer..Insidious

Seeta moderator

 @nancy a heitzeg Thanks Nancy! Sorry Kay is having trouble.  No idea what might be the problem. :(


  1. […] is California – the Golden Gulag – that brings us the expansion of the modern prison industrial complex. […]

  2. […] prison system and Governor Brown’s “doubling down” on mass incarceration (see The PIC – Old School/New School 2 The Golden Gulag and Prison Privatization Part 1: Another Cautionary Tale from California), he is sadly mistaken if […]

  3. […] rate in the nation (with fewer people in prison in the entire state than the two largest maximum security prisons in the U.S.. combined), and a Department of Corrections that advertizes its’  “bold set […]