This 37-minute video was created in collaboration with the California Coalition for Women Prisoners and focuses on the life of Charisse Shumate and women in California State prisons. It includes amazing prison interviews as well as materials from State Senate hearings on conditions for women in the California State Prison System and historical video footage of Charisse and her family. Charisse was a life term prisoner incarcerated for 16 years at the Central California Women's Facility. She died of complications from sickle cell anemia, cancer, and hepatitis C. Charisse championed the cause of battered women when no one else was rallying to their support. She was imprisoned for defending herself against an abusive partner. Charisse stepped forward to be the lead plaintiff and prisoner spokesperson in the class action lawsuit challenging the medical neglect and abuse of women prisoners (aptly named Shumate v. Wilson). It was thanks to Charisse that many activists and advocates initially became involved in defending the right of women prisoners to medical care and adequate treatment. Now, through this video, she will inspire others to fight for social justice.
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