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WB00963_.GIF (995 bytes)  Women in California Prisons - Fact Sheet

Women and girls in U.S. custody, including those held for immigration violations, face violations of their human rights everyday.   These human rights violations include:
  • Right to Bodily Integrity
    - Female inmates experience sexual and verbal abuse from correctional staff.
  • Right to Health
    - Women prisoners are provided grossly inadequate health care.
  • Right to Economic Security
    - While women are paid pennies an hour, they are charged exorbitant prices for family telephone calls and basic personal hygiene products

Although the majority of incarcerated women are the primary caretakers for children under18, most prisons are located far from the urban centers where most female prisoners' children live. Consequently, children of incarcerated women rarely see their mothers.

WILD has chronicled these and other human rights concerns of   female inmates in the US in a tool designed to link these problems with international human rights standards.  This paper, "Human Rights of Women in U.S. Custody," is available at a cost of $3 (US).  Feel free to call or email us about obtaining a copy.  

WILD continues to highlight these abuses as human rights violations. WILD coordinated the California segment of the U.S. mission of Dr. Radhika Coomaraswamy, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, its causes and consequences. In collaboration with women prisoner advocates, WILD arranged meetings and briefings, and compiled information for her investigation and documentation of abuses against women in custody, which focused on sexual assault, access to health care, and family unity. We also presented on human rights of women prisoners at the Critical Resistance conference  in Berkeley, California from September 25-27, 1998 and are supporting Amnesty International  and Human Rights Watch efforts to counter these human rights violations.

In the upcoming months, WILD plans to work with prisoner rights groups across the country to develop a coordinated response to the Special Rapporteur's report, which will be presented to the United Nations Human Rights Commission in April 1999.  If you are interested in participating in such efforts in any way, please contact WILD and continue to watch this site for more information.

 

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   For more information please contact:

WILD for Human Rights
340 Pine Street, Suite 302
San Francisco, CA 94104
Tel:  415-837-0795
Fax:  415-837-1144
[email protected]

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Kathleen Schorsch

 

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