More than 400 people from all over California descended on the rural central valley town of Chowchilla to protest the horrendous conditions in the notorious prison, Central California Women’s Facility. Close to 4,000 women are warehoused in a facility designed for 2000. Photos by Bill Hackwell

Chowchilla Freedom Rally

By Diana Block

On Jan. 26, more than 400 people from across California rallied, marched and chanted to protest extreme overcrowding, deteriorating healthcare and constant lockdowns in the women’s prisons in California. Overcrowding at the Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) is now at 189% of capacity with eight women being housed in cells built for four.

The rally was organized by a broad-based coalition and included many groups and individuals from the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles and the San Joaquin Valley. Rallies in solidarity were also held at women’s prisons in Philadelphia and London.

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Diana Block is with the California Coalition for Women Prisoners. Learn more at www.womenprisoners.org.

  • The Community Alliance is a monthly newspaper that has been published in Fresno, California, since 1996. The purpose of the newspaper is to help build a progressive movement for social and economic justice.

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