Women locked up in California's largest women's prison are up in arms following the introduction of new pregnancy recourses and contraceptives that they say reveals the problem with the state's decision to let biological males to be housed in women's facilities, according to a report from the Christian Post, citing a post from the Women's Liberation Front.
WoLF, a left-wing feminist organization, said Thursday that officials at the Central California Women's Facility began providing the new resources, including condoms, after the state began implementing a new law allowing male prisoners who identify as female to be transferred to the women's prison.
Since the new law, SB 132, went into effect in January, the state has received nearly 300 requests for transfer, all but six of them asked to be moved to a women's facility — and none of the requests has been denied, the Los Angeles Times reported. About 20 of the requests have been processed so far, the women's advocacy group said.
According to WoLF, the new resources — including never-before-needed condoms — from the state are nothing less than a "tacit admission by officials that women should expect to be raped when housed in prison with men," which an inmate described to the group as "a nightmare's worst nightmare."
One inmate at CCWF told the Times that prison guards have warned them to expect sexual violence.
"That if we think it's bad now, be prepared for the worst. That it's going to be off the hook, it's going to be jumping," Tomiekia Johnson, 41, told the Times. “They say we're going to need a facility that's going to be like a maternity ward. They say we're going to have an inmate program where inmates become nannies."
The fact that all sex is deemed illegal in California prisons makes the newly revealed resources an apparent contradiction.
More from WoLF about the newly posted resources:
New posters recently appeared in medical rooms outlining the options available to “pregnant people" in prison, including prenatal care, abortion, and adoption. The poster also declares that women have the right to “contraceptive counseling and your choice of birth control methods by a licensed health care provider within 60-180 days prior to scheduled release date." However, the only methods available to incarcerated women to prevent pregnancy are condoms, which appeared shortly after the men, and Plan B emergency contraceptives.
The organization also said that multiple California women's prisons are "increasing security measures in preparation for potentially hundreds of new dangerous and violent men living alongside the vulnerable female inmate population."
WoLF reported that one woman made a plea for help during a recent CCWF event.
"How do we feel safe in our community? When we reach out for help we get nothing," the woman reportedly said. "There has been an assault on a woman and we still are silenced."
"Does anyone care that we are being forced to house with 6'2, 250+ lbs men with penises that are here for brutally raping women?" she continued, WoLF said. "We have been warned by the officials in this prison, more are coming with worse charges. Where is the safety concern for us? If we say we are in fear, we are the ones locked up."
Another female inmate told WoLF, "You might as well declare the prison is co-ed and ship us off to Pelican Bay!"
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation claimed the "possibility of pregnancy was considered in the development" of SB 132 and that it had procedures in place related to pregnancy, including the fact that sexual acts are already prohibited in prison and are subject to disciplinary action.
Yet, after the biological males began being transferred into CCWF, the prison began providing condoms to inmates, WoLF said.
In a piece for the Santa Monica Observer, Amber Jackson, an inmate at CCWF, revealed that multiple trans women transferred to the prison still had penises and were HIV positive. The biological males, Jackson said, were abusing and having sex with many of the female inmates. This, according to Jackson, led to the prison's new condom policy.
In subsequent item for the Observer, Jackson wrote that the women at the prison are "now prey for men."
"Call yourself a 'woman' all you want," Jackson said. "But when you have man, with a penis, that works as it was designed to do, that's a problem in a women's prison group shower room. That's a problem."