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Action Committee for Women in Prison
June 1, 2010

The Action Committee for Women in Prison (ACWIP) has had a huge impact on the lives of incarcerated women everywhere because of the programs they bring into the prison. Christmas time is one of the most difficult times for women in prison, and the little bit of cheer that we receive is provided by ACWIP. Each year every incarcerated woman in Southern California receives a gift bag from ACWIP and they also provide toys for our children who come to visit during the holidays. I got a pen pal through the organization who really lifted my spirits, and ACWIP also paid for my college books enabling me to obtain an AA degree while in prison. ACWIP made a big difference for me during the time I was in prison and helped me turn my life around.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

yes

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

see to it that every women in prison in the country could benefit from they assistance

More feedback

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

they made me feel special.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

kind, caring, and dedicated

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

help all the womem serving time in prisons in the country

Ways to make it better...

if there were more volunteers providing services

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

too many women in need of their services

One thing I'd also say is that...

these volunteers made me feel like I was worth helping, They made me feel human again.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

MY ROLE:
Client Served & received the benefits of their services.

Action Committee for Women in Prison
May 27, 2010

My name is Lawrence Brantlinger and I'm a volunteer with the Action Committee for Women in Prison. I first became aware of this organization last July and have been doing what I can to assist in this cause for the past few months. ACWIP advocates for humane and compassionate treatment for all incarcerated women. In addition we also seek the establishment of developemental programs to improve the lives and prospects of these women both inside and out. One of the great tragedies in our country are the literally tens of thousands of women who our society has inprisoned and forgotten, the vast majority of which do not present any threat to our society. In some cases these women are actually innocent, it other cases these women acted out of desperation. Few are inclined towards violence. ACWIP offers a pen pal program, a greeting card program, whereby every woman serving 10 years or more gets a birthday card and a Christmas card, and a college book program that buys textbooks for incarcerated women who are taking college courses. Many of these women, victims of physical and/or sexual abuse, are there because they dared to rise up against their abusers in the only way, they believed, they could. They struck back against their abusers when the abuser was most vunerable. These women were defending themselves and in some cases their children as well, but since our Legal Justice System does not permit a plea of self defense unless the threat to life is immediate, their actions to free themselves from their abusers landed them in prison and in some cases even on Death Row. Their actions are acts of desperation and are understandable since many times when a woman attempts to defend herself against her abuser she can expect to be seriously injured or killed. ACWIP conducts the largest Christmas project in the United States delivering about 3000 gift bags to women in Southern California prisons and camps. The Director personally offers "Council" to women at the California Institution for Women on a monthly basis to reassure them that many of us have not forgotten them and that we are struggling to aid them in any way we can. There are also many women imprisoned who are infirmed and/or elderly, some suffer from terminal illnesses and have very little time left. Their imprisonment is of no benefit to society and in fact often costs the state far more to keep them locked up then it would to release them back into society where they could be cared for by their family and friends in the final years of their lives. The Action Committee for Women In Prison (AWCIP) is the creation of Gloria Killian, an extraordinary woman, who spent 17 years in prison herself for a crime she didn't commit. She was exenorated in 2002. Upon her release she vowed that she would do everything in her power to aid all the wrongfully imprisoned women, whether guilty of a crime or not, every where. She and other members of this organization now work tirelessly to keep that promise. ACWIP also produces a weekly international radio show WOMEN BEHIND THE WALL, that has thousands of supporters around the world, and presents issues of incarcerated women in a lively discussion format. On this program (WOMEN BEHIND THE WALL) ACWIP fights for the parole release and the compassionate release for women who pose no threat to society. They also conduct public education and awareness events educating people of the often inhuman and barbaric conditions that many of these women face in these institutions.

Photos

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My only experience has been in meeting some of the women that ACWIP has helped after their release from prison.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If I could I would increased their funding and their staff.

More feedback

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the number of women who this organization has assisted in regaining their freedom and lives

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

dedicated, effective and filled with a sense of love and compassion

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

greatly increase the awareness of society to the plight of these women. Influence badly needed changes in both the Criminal Justice system and in the Prison reform movement.

Ways to make it better...

ACWIP had greater funding and additional staff.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

inadequate funding.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I am proud to be a volunteer with ACWIP. The work we do is extremely important and is based upon a mixture of both compassion and justice

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & produce and edit ACWIP.net website.