CCWF has a long way to go in showing respect and compassion for HIV+ prisioners, and I still struggle with the petty issues that surface when a positive woman moves in a cell.
I fight for better medical care for all women at CCWF. I speak with positive women daily in hopes that they will take charge of their lives, learn all they can about HIV/AIDS and teach others what they learn.
Beverly Henry is an inmate at Central California Women's Facility (CCWF) in Chowchilla, California (often referred to as "Chowchilla").
A youthful woman with a tribal tattoo above her right eyebrow and cornrows in her hair, Johnson has learned what's important, and that's making the most of her time at CCWF, taking vocational classes, staying "write-up free" and avoiding conflicts with other inmates.
With 11,000 inmates, California has the largest female prison population in the country, says Rhonda Frost, spokeswoman for CCWF. Black women make up about a third of California's female prisoners, and the multimillion-dollar prison-building program has been outpaced by the prison population.
Chapter 2 discusses the research methodology, which consisted of extensive observation of daily activities in CCWF
and analysis of survey data.
In the short time she was imprisoned at CCWF
, her health declined so rapidly that a CCWF
doctor gave her a diagnosis of six months or less to live.
Among the inmates housed in CCWF
, about one-third are classified as level one, or minimum security.