FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WHAT: Rally to demand closure of new women’s prison in McFarland,
WHERE: McFarland Park, 100 Frontage Rd, McFarland,
WHEN: Thursday, July 31st, 5pm
Contact: Debbie Reyes, California Prison Moratorium Project, 559-367-6020
Misty Rojo, California Coalition for Women Prisoners, 510-213-0522
Imprisoned women and advocates argue that CDCR could easily implement programs to reduce crowding, and that wasting money on prison expansion has only proven to exacerbate the problem. “People being sent to McFarland are eligible for release under already established programs, and the money being spent to open this prison should be used for community-based re-entry services instead,” states Jess Heaney of Critical Resistance.
Alarming prison conditions are only intensified by the fact that the McFarland prison sits in Kern County, an area plagued by toxic environmental conditions. According to California Prison Moratorium Project (CPMP) organizer Debbie Reyes, “The city of McFarland is in an area known as an area where people have developed cancer at an alarming rate and a breeding ground for Valley Fever. Instead of reopening new prisons and exposing more people to the toxic health effects of this environment, all the prisons there should be shut down.”
At the rally in McFarland, community members, loved ones of imprisoned people, and advocates will make the link between the struggles against brutal conditions in immigrant detention centers and those endured by over 120,000 people locked up in California state prisons. Along with women and children participating in Trail of Humanity telling their stories and speaking about their demands, organizers with CCWP and CPMP will provide statements in solidarity and discuss their ongoing work fighting prison expansion in California.