Victoria Law

victoria lawVictoria Law is a freelance writer and editor.
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She is the author of Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women, the co-editor of Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind: Concrete Ways to Support Families in Social Justice Movements and Communities and a mother to a NYC public high school student.
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She has written for various publications about the intersections of incarceration, gender and resistance.
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You can find her work at victorialaw.net or by following her on twitter: @LVikkiml.
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U.S. Prisons and Jails Are Threatening the Lives of Pregnant Women and Babies

Clockwise from top L: Sierra Watts in her only visit with her son, Oak Lee, before he was adopted; Minna Long’s son Noah; Michelle Barton with her daughter, Semaj, in February 2014, hours after birth; the mattress in the Wichita County Jail cell where Nicole Guerrero gave birth, June 12, 2012; Noah’s twin brother, Joseph. Excerpts from a 2015 letter from a pregnant prisoner in Oklahoma. Our 6-month investigation reveals the horrific and shameful conditions facing pregnant prisoners—and the … [Read more...]

Can Private Prisons Keep Inmates Healthy?

o address overcrowding and inadequate medical care, California is once again turning to private prisons. This time, however, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is planning to send women to a privately run prison. In April, California contracted with GEO Group to open a 260-bed women's prison in Bakersfield. The prison is scheduled to open in fall 2014, with the contract effective through June 30, 2018. The contract includes an opportunity for GEO Group to expand … [Read more...]

Women In Solitary Confinement: Buried Inside the Federal Prison System

his past September, in response to continued criticism around its use of solitary confinement, the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) began an internal audit of its “restricted housing operations.” As noted earlier by Solitary Watch, no women’s prisons are listed in the Scope of Work provided by the team hired to conduct the Special Housing Unit Review and Assessment. The BOP’s Public Information Office was unable to comment on this apparent omission. Although they are absent from the audit, … [Read more...]

California Ships Prisoners Out of State to “Reduce” Its Prison Population

anielle Rigney’s son was arrested and sentenced to six years in prison when he was 19. He spent two years imprisoned in California. Each weekend, family members or friends drove four hours to visit him. “He got to see his sisters growing up; he got to keep up with their lives,” she said. “We constantly talked about the future.” In addition to weekly visits, Rigney’s son also had a job in the prison and was on the waiting list for college classes and a technical training course. In July, … [Read more...]

One Month After Historic Hunger Strike, California Lawmakers Hold Hearings on Solitary Confinement

Tell us the truth, even if it’s not pleasant,” State Assembly member Tom Ammiano told California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) officials, advocates, formerly incarcerated people and family members. On Wednesday, October 9, the California legislature’s Public Safety Committee held the first of several hearings about the use of solitary confinement in California’s prisons. These hearings were prompted by a 60-day hunger strike that rocked California’s prison system this … [Read more...]