Action Committee for Women in Prison

Minutes from March 19, 2005 Meeting
Meeting Started: 10:32 a.m. The meeting began with a Moment of Silence for the Sisters Inside. Meeting Ended: 11:37 a.m.
1. Lifer Support, letters, actions/good news:
  • Valere Boyd and Patricia Catahno are due to be re-leased from C.I.W. The governor chose not to oppose their release.
  • There are letters of support on the table for those who wish to support Sharelle Holt and Freddie Aguirre release. If you wish to send them, but do not want the responsibility of sending them Jane Burtis will send them for you. Please make sure that you sign them and give them to her before you leave.
  • This is Freddie Aguirre's 5 th date from the Board of Prison Terms. The governor rescinded her last date because she could not remember the crime. Freddie was in an Alcoholic Blackout and will never remember what happened that night. Freddie has taken responsibility for the incident that took another's life.
  • Gloria is working on a letter for Linda Lee Smith who has been given a date by the Board of Prison Terms for the 6 th time. Linda, has served 24, has been a Peer Helper at C.I.W. for years and is now a student in Graphic Arts. Linda's boyfriend was extremely abusive to Linda and her two daughters. One day he beat one of the girls so badly that the only way for Linda to get help was to agree to tell them that she did it. Linda's case has been misunderstood as she is a battered woman but the Governor has refused to look at that issue.Linda's surviving daughter has appeared in front of the BPT in support of her mother. Linda could not protect herself or her children from her abusive partner

2. Gloria showed the proposed ACWIP Brochure and passed it around for everyone to see. The front picture will be changing to Barbed wire and pictures of the women that have been released from prison.

Pat and the lawyers are working on the 501C3.

3. Veronica Obregon and Mike Ramirez have applied for positions on the Board of Prison Terms.

The Governor has appointed 2 people for the BPT : Philip Inglee, 68, of Huntington Beach, CA. He has served as a commissioner on the Orange County Parole Board since 2001. Inglee has worked as a banking executive for 33 years, serving as president and chief executive officer of Liberty National Bank from 1982 to 1998. In addition, he has served as chair of the Huntington Beach Planning Commission..

Stephen Lee, 50, of San Gabriel. He most recently served as a Los Angeles Superior Court referee, where he handled all matters assigned in the dependency and juvenile delinquency courts. He also worked as a senior deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

Both of these position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $99,693 per person. There are 2 more position open.

We question what does the average inmate in CDC have in common with either Inglee or Lee? As a community we must become more involved in the process of any position opened and help get the right people in the job not a hand picked copy of what they already have.

Gloria mentioned while in San Francisco for the E News Awards, she met a woman who works with women of color to help them run and win political offices. She will contact her to see if she can help us in getting someone on the BPT.

Frank suggestion for joining the NAACP is to write on the application that before you join you want them to start doing something about the human rights violations in the prison system involving inmates. If enough people start to tell them they will have to do something.

4. Last Sunday March 13, 2005, at Mt. St. Mary's College, we held a conversation between women with women of the community and former prisoners about the problems facing women who are released from prison.

Sara Malone, CDC Ombudswoman for women prisoners was there and will bring other CDC officials next time we meet.

Dawn Davison, C.I.W.'s Warden was in attendance as well.

5. Important bills to work on. AB 324 Mountjoy (R-Monrovia) Correctional facilities: clergy access A correctional facility may not deny a clergy member access to the facility because of specified actions by the clergy member.

AB 478 Lieber (D-Santa Clara) Female Inmates The bill would require any community treatment program in which an inmate participates to include prenatal care, access to prenatal vitamins, childbirth education and infant care. This bill also provides that inmates shall not be shackled by their wrist and ankles or both during the birthing process.

AB 561 Montanez (D-Los Angeles) Prison Education Director of Corrections shall appoint a Superintendent of Correctional Education who shall oversee and administer all prison education programs.

AB 658 Liu (D-Los Angeles) Women inmates Department of Corrections would develop a pilot program that creates expanded incarceration options for nonviolent women offenders that effectively addresses the risks and the needs of women inmates and their children.

SB 239 Romero (D-Los Angeles) Media access to prisoners- this bill would allow media to have access to inmates.

SB 366 Kuehl (D-Los Angeles) Female offenders this bill would state the intent of the legislature to develop a correctional strategy to address the unique gender-based issues that exist for female offenders

6. The Green Wire is a ground level publication to distribute information to the membership of CCPOA (California Correctional Peace Officers Association)

We feel it would be wise to keep an eye on this publication and it's web sites.

Paco Villa's Blog:

7. The next meeting is scheduled for April 16, 2005 at 10:30 A.M. at 1249 North Holliston Avenue Pasadena, CA 91104