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The Madera Tribune

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webmaster | 01/21/12

Female inmates ask supervisor for help in fighting conversion of Chowchilla prison into men’s facility

After being flooded with letters from female inmates housed in the two women’s prisons in Chowchilla, Madera County District 2 Supervisor David Rogers has vowed to be their voice in the community’s fight against the state’s prison officials.

The letters came in response to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s recent decision to repurpose Valley State Prison for Women into a men’s facility — a conversion Rogers said he, his constituents, and the City of Chowchilla are opposed to.

“They have asked me to be their voice on the outside,” Rogers said. “I’m going to do just that. Already my staff has made contacts with state and federal representatives and has reached out to non-profit organizations that fight for incarcerated women’s rights. The things these women claim have happened, the fear they express in these letters — no one should have to live in fear.”

More than 20 VSPW inmates — many serving long-term or life sentences — have sent letters to Rogers and his assistant, Glenna Jarvis, in recent weeks, expressing their worry about overcrowding, being housed with enemies, retaliation, and the loss of about 55 self-help rehabilitation programs...


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