View Full Version : What is life like inside CCWF?


stracka2
06-23-2006, 01:36 PM
Wondering what the daily activities are like for someone who has been there for 15 years - I sent my first letter to her yesterday so I've not heard back yet. I'm assuming she is considered a model inmate, she lives in 510 area - I assume that is her cell block?

What is it like inside - daily routine and all... anyway I can reach out to let her know I'm thinking about her? is the only way to communicate through mail?

Peace to all....

stracka2
06-23-2006, 08:49 PM
Hi - just wondering where everyone is?

Free Fall
06-25-2006, 03:58 AM
Hi stracka2. I spent almost 2 years in Chowchilla and have been a free person since í95 and I now live in the UK. Iím going to be very blunt which is my style and many may not like it. I only ran across this site yesterday and Iím really amazed at the wide coverage it gives and must say kudos to the folks behind it.

Tread carefully when it comes to making alliances with people behind barsÖmany are good people who have just made mistakes or are in there because of dumb laws, but there are those who are just plain bad and donít have a problem milking you for all they can. If the ďfriendshipĒ lasts until they are released and you continue or take it a notch higher there may also be the problem of two worlds colliding and because you mention you have never been arrested, you may not be aware of the lifestyles of criminalsÖ.If your friend has already been in for 15 years I gather it must have been something major.

To be quite blunt many of them will use you for what they can and will have others as well, so try not to invest your heart, but remain a good soul and write them and be someone on the outside to brighten up their time.

Iím not sure if many especially women, contact prisoners they have never met before because itís a little different and maybe to them even exciting or if they do it because they know as long as the man is behind bars, they canít cheat on them or really let them down. From my point of view itís a losers game and a step backwards in personal growth.

Free Fall
06-25-2006, 04:05 AM
Oh and I forgot to answer your original question, it's the most god damn awful place on earth and from what I hear it's got worse. A lot of the privilidges we had when I was there, no longer exists, but I guess after 15 years she has made peace with herself and has established a routine....I never did I fought it every day which made it worse for me...but that's mainly due to the fact that I knew I should not have been there in the first place.

stracka2
06-25-2006, 12:26 PM
Hi Freefall,

Thanks for your willingness to open up. Just watched England advance in World Cup Soccer! Goal Beckman!

I think the internet has opened up inmates ability to the outside world - for those who are honest with their intentions this is great for them - being behind bars for 15 years, half your like in this case, is something I don't have a clue as to how on handles day to day life!

Hopefully her intentions are real and I can provide the support to help her in her goals and visions to lead a productive life upon release.

Too bad the conditions have gone down hill at CCWF... Over-crowding seems to me as the issue along with many other rules and regulations that seem to create more tension than help.

Again, thanks for the honest response and good luck in the UK. Go england!!

Free Fall
06-25-2006, 05:30 PM
Grrrrrrrrrrrrr! Please don't mention soccer or world cup to me...I don't get it and don't enjoy it. Only thing I like about it is that during the time England is playing another country I know I can run a few errands and the streets will be void of vehicles:D .

I wish your new friend well. Is she a lifer and if you don't mind me asking what was your motive in originally contacting her?

Cheers!

stracka2
06-25-2006, 06:12 PM
Very good question - I ran across an article about women in prison, ended up doing more surfing on the subject and read several profiles on-line. I was pretty over-whelmed and felt a need to do something - this is a new world to me and I'm glad I've taken the steps to help in anyway possible.

Hopefully she has plenty of support and help, if not maybe I can be of help. I guess after reading her profile I felt compelled to help - I know I need to be careful and I know she needs another chance - going in at 15! What happened 15 years ago is so far in the past - and if the state allows this person to get out than she can use all the help from whomever is willing to help.

As for the soccer- the streets will really be empty during the next game! Shops may even be closed!

Might be a good time to visit your little tennis event this week???

faithbest
06-25-2006, 08:56 PM
Hi stracka2. I spent 5 years 7 months and 3 days at CCWF and lived in Housing Unit 510. If she has been down for 15 years she is very settled into a routine. Depending on what her job is her day could go very much like this. To begin with Unit 510 is housing unit that has 4 wings. There is an officers station in the middle and a large day room for people to congregate in and watch TV, play cards or simply talk to each other. The wings have 8 or maybe 10 rooms in them. (I have been out since 2000 and just can't remember) 4 or 5 on each side. The rooms have 4 bunk beds in them and 8 lockers. During prison crowding there will be 8 women in each room. There is a small room with a toilet and another small room with the shower. There are two sinks and a table that is about the size of a card table. Women usually get up between 6 and 7 am. Unit is released to the chow hall for breakfast. She probably walks to the chow hall for breakfast where she is also given a sack lunch. After that Programming begins. She is probably put through Work Exchange where they put you through a medal detector to make sure you are not taking contraband to work. I was in the Joint Venture Program and worked from 8am to app 4pm. The programs are work assignments and are pretty much like any job or school you would go to. Ask her about her job. Most work assignments end between 3 and 4pm. At that time you are processed back through (put through the medal detector and patted down) Work Exchange and you must be back in your room for the 4:30 count. During count you must be in your Room on your assigned bunk and a CO comes around and verifies you are there. This process can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 3 hours. Usually it is about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. After the unit is released to Chow for dinner. Usually after she can go outside and walk around a "track" on her own yard or sit in the dayroom and be in her room doing whatever is allowed. The unit shuts down at 9pm or 10pm (again I just can't remember) and the lights are turned down in the housing units for sleep. As for contact, you can give her your phone number and she can call you (collect) or you can ask her for a visiting application and fill it out. Once you are approved you can go visit her. I read some of the other posts that you have received. You should be careful this is true, but in my experience the "Lifers" are usually the model inmates unless they are housed in SHU. You will know if she is in trouble because her return address will change to instead of 510 - at the beginning of the housing location it will change to 501. After 15 years of state prison she is probably just lonely and looking for a friend. She may need stamps and envelopes. The jobs in the prison only pay from $7 - $50 a month and she has to pay for hygiene products (shampoo, etc) and anything she may want for snacks (candy bars, etc) If you really feel like you want to do something nice for her, ask her if she has someone that sends her quarterly packages and maybe help send one or send one yourself. But more than anything, just spend sometime writing to her. Be consistent and remember that you may be her only contact to the outside world. It is always nice to get to know someone on paper. Tell her about your family and things you do. Ask her about herself and her hopes. Just be consistent and reach out to her and you may find a new friend that will listen to you and be there for you when you need her. I hope this has helped. This is the first time I have answered anything on this site. Good luck and God Bless..

stracka2
06-26-2006, 08:42 PM
Thanks Faith - for your first response you did better then ever! I really appreciate the response and advice.

Kind regards and best of luck,

stracka2

Free Fall
06-26-2006, 10:03 PM
Very good question - I ran across an article about women in prison, ended up doing more surfing on the subject and read several profiles on-line. I was pretty over-whelmed and felt a need to do something - this is a new world to me and I'm glad I've taken the steps to help in anyway possible.

Hopefully she has plenty of support and help, if not maybe I can be of help. I guess after reading her profile I felt compelled to help - I know I need to be careful and I know she needs another chance - going in at 15! What happened 15 years ago is so far in the past - and if the state allows this person to get out than she can use all the help from whomever is willing to help.

As for the soccer- the streets will really be empty during the next game! Shops may even be closed!

Might be a good time to visit your little tennis event this week???

Thanks for sharing that. I ran across the profile of a lady I spent time with at the LA County jail in 1989....I left after a few months but it looks like she got convicted and is now on death row. I'll most likely write her in the next few days. She was the last person you'd expect to find there and had never comitted a crime...I guess there for the grace of whoever go I. I'm not religious at all.

Faiths description of daily life at CIW is accurate...I shudder just thinking about it and have pretty much erased everything. I'm just grateful for all the little things in my life today...reading this forum can actually be quite depressing sometimes, especially when one embarks or a more positive and fulfilling life.

Dylan58
07-06-2006, 08:20 PM
My girlfriend is a lifer, she has an appeal going on but who knows... I just try to be there for her, and support her in any way i can. It breaks my heart on a daily basis but i am trying not to let things get to me. She copes the best she can but with all the rules and lockdowns and fights well, it is not easy... We do however have our love that keeps us strong and with that, an ounce of hope...

stracka2
07-10-2006, 12:47 PM
Hi, just returned from a week trip and finally received a letter! The letter is the second one she sent - the first letter I never received.... and the first letter I sent her was returned to me!!! Her letter, the one I received, mentioned she did receive all 3 letters I sent so that is good - hopefully I will receive her first letter...

Well, so much for the communication of the system - my first letter was sent back because the evelope was larger than 10 by 12.... still can't understand why standard evelopes from the post office aren't excepted????

Hope all is well for all of you and if you have any stories about CCFW please keep them coming!!!

cheers!

soukgirl
07-10-2006, 01:51 PM
my man has been locked up in high desert and now in folsom and bein doing time for 12 years. he consider himself getting instutionalized because he already got used to the same routine day after day. when he talk to me he always refering his cell his house and all that layment term he mention. i told him when he get out in 2 more years i will get a bunk bed for him and a metal toilet and even tell him its lights out at 10:00 he laughed and said make sure there are roman noodles in the cupboard. hee hee

stracka2
07-11-2006, 03:17 PM
hey soukgirl - very funny! i can't even imagine what it would be like to come home, lucky them who have a home to come home too! good ideas on making the home feel the old home. haha! i can see your man telling you to lose the bunk beds after one night! and forget about the other items!!

cheers

CeeV
01-04-2009, 08:20 PM
My friends change from 516-22-3 to 516-6-4

Wolf
01-04-2009, 08:27 PM
Hi CeeV....
I don't know the answer to your question but some one will be by and be able to answer it...
Have a Good Week!!!!

mahkenna
01-04-2009, 10:50 PM
Hi CeeV...... I am sorry your friend is at CCWF. Looks like she is in "D" Yard and had a room change.

516 is the building number, she is now in room 6, bunk 4.

There are a lot of the young lifers in her particular building. She shares the yard with the girls in the "Honor" dorm in building 514.

CeeV
01-06-2009, 04:32 PM
Thanks I sent her another letter today I spoke with visiting at CCWF I am having trouble getting approved because I am in Canada. My status is still pending. She will only be out in 2017 and I will see her through it all the way. She is a good person who made bad decisions.

mahkenna
01-08-2009, 02:30 AM
We hear you Ceev...we all have loved ones who made bad choices. Wish it wasn't so!

Your friend is lucky to have you!

pati
01-18-2009, 06:00 PM
Same house different rooms.

tanyat702
01-29-2009, 11:37 AM
My mother Teresa is supposedly in CCWF in chowchilla according to her boyfriend. Can anyone tell me what this means, how long it will take her to get mail I sent her and also money I sent through Jpay? I am getting nowhere with the mailroom, counselor, etc....and have been calling every place I can to find out what her charges are and when she gets out, etc....to no avail. They say I have to get the info from the inmate. Well, Teresa is my biological mother and she placed me up for adoption so I dont have alot of info on her and I am sure she does not have mine. That being said, aside for waiting for her to maybe get my letter and await her response, is there anything else I can do to get more info? I just want to know why she's there and when I will hear form her and when she is getting out and how I may be able to help. I live in Las Vegas and dont know alot about this stuff so please help! Thanks in advance. :)

TT

mahkenna
01-29-2009, 02:47 PM
Hi Tanya, sorry your Bio-Mom is in CCWF. But I am glad you found us at PTO. D'gal has pinged me about your post...hope this helps!

I sponsor several inmates at CCWF, and it is not a bad facility. She is in reception/receiving right now in Chowchilla, in Central California, about 20 minutes above Fresno.

It means building, room, bed Low. Receiving/reception/in take is where she was shipped from county and it is a segregated area of the prison. The 'welcome wagon' so to speak. This is where she will get her medical exams, meet with a counselor, time calculated, and ready to be classified and sent (over the wall) into general population. If she is high profile, dangerous, or has threats against her, she goes to SHU. (Security Housing Unit).

If this is her first time in prison, she will be in reception for approximately 30 days before going over the wall. If she has been in before, she will get classified and sent straight to a yard for housing (unless there is no bed for her due to over crowding) and miss all the fun in reception!

I am assuming you have her CDC# or you would not have been able to Jpay her. The money goes right into their inmate account and YES it shows who sent it. Your mail will reach her too! You may want to send her a few stamps, plain letter sized envelopes, and some plain white writing paper. They get one trip to canteen and if they miss it they are out of luck, the canteen visits are usually once a month while in reception.

Since the state of California is BROKE, the budget cuts have been severe at our prisons. CCWF was really good about handing out welfare packages which included wrting supplies and stamps. I don't know how much of that has been cut due to the state's financial problems. So send what you can, it is better than her borrowing from others.

It is now up to her to write to you. Have her send you a mail restriction packet with all the rules of what you can send her in reception, when she mainlines, you can send her a lot more.

If you want to visit, have her send a visitation form with her signature on the back bottom of the form, (inmates forget to do this). Fill out and send the form back to HER, it takes 30 days to get approved by CDC. And yes you can do reception visits BUT they are on certain weekend days and times only....they keep changing the day so call before you go and confirm which day.

CCWF is not a bad facility. The truth is....inmates make the experience what they want it to be. Don't panic, it is not all that bad. My girls said it is wonderful after even a day in county. Reception is the hardest part, loud and confusing to first timers. But once she mainlines (over the wall) she will have a lot of freedom and privileges.

It gets better for us on the outside. Hopefully she will be home soon. If she is a short timer, she can request the gym. It is (the gym) and is dorm housing with approximately 200 women. They are all short timers and do not want any trouble, they just want to do their time and go home.

Take care and I hope you hear from your mom soon.
London

PS...you may have not gotten far with contacting her counselor because she may not have been assigned one yet.

tanyat702
01-30-2009, 11:08 AM
Will they give her the $$ I send by Jpay in reception?

Dandylion
01-31-2009, 08:16 AM
Will they give her the $$ I send by Jpay in reception?

The money is supposed to go directly into her account even while she's in reception.

I've read in 2 different places that they take 44 or 55% for restitution/taxes. I'm not sure how long it takes to be deposited. Anyone else know?

tanyat702
02-02-2009, 12:18 PM
Hello All,

My mother is at CCWF in chowchilla. :( She is still in receiving from what I have found out here on PTO. However, after sending her money, letters, and supplies to write me back.....still no word from her? Can anyone tell me from personal experience or otherwise what it's like there and why I may not be hearing from her? I am pretty sure she would want to be in touch with me....or maybe not! Who knows????

Thanks

fireprincess
02-14-2009, 05:10 PM
I did 2 1/2 years in CCWF. I was on the C yard. I know many of the lifers and know the get down there pretty much with the whole tobacco problems. I know MANY of the CO's and how they get you in the mix. I can tell you about SAP or whatever else you need to know. I have peoples that will be there the rest of thier life so if anyone is facing sentencing to go... let me know. I can have my peoples waiting for you when you get over the wall. To help you out with whatever you need.
thanks Ladies

fireprincess
02-14-2009, 05:16 PM
lot of lifers in 510 and its a building where your placed when you first come over the wall. They are not too friendly in 510 cuz they are tired of the new chicks that are only there for a week before they are placed in the perm~ unit or cell. The cells are 8 man (woman) cells. You better know how to respect an inmate before getting placed in 510 . they dont play.

tanyat702
02-16-2009, 12:37 PM
My mother is in CCWF and says she is supposed to be release in March. This sounds strange to me because she only went in just b4 Xmas. I thought if you only did a few months you would be in county jail or something? Could she be lying? Let me know. Thanks. :)

Tanya

Dandylion
02-16-2009, 09:05 PM
Hi fireprincess,
Thanks for offering your insight! I would love to know anything you want to share - heh - that was vague! I guess I'm eager to learn. My friend who's there has about the same sentence you had. Did you have a job or anything? What was a typical day like for you? What did you do to stave off boredom? (My friend says she's bored a lot.) Do you remember how long you were in receiving for? Was general population really better than receiving? (as in, does it get easier in gen pop?) What is SAP?
Thanks! :)

MJVegas
02-21-2009, 12:08 PM
I have a friend that is probably still in Rec. Just want to know the day to day type of things.
Thanks very much

jet1985
02-22-2009, 12:52 AM
Hello Fireprincess and thank you in advance for your willingness to impart some insight. I have a friend who is in CCWF and I am curious as well as to what her typical day might be like. I am not comfortable asking her this question myself at this time. I would greatly appreciate your insight! Are the inmates generally friendly towards one another? What time is wake-up call? What do they do in a typical day? Thanks again!

tanyat702
02-26-2009, 12:20 PM
where the heck did fireprincess go?

fireprincess
02-26-2009, 04:25 PM
Hi everyone. Your friends will be on the receiving yard about 8 weeks then they'll see their CC1 that is when they tell you your release date and if your transpacking or not. meaning being moved to CIW or VSPW. VSPW is right across the street from CCWF and is identical. Once they see the CC1 its a matter of 1 - 2 days and they go over the wall. B yard = a medical yard C=yard is the best yard and has the drug program SAP which sucks. But, C yard is the best yard. D=yard. Just hope that your friends dont get sent to D yard. Usually they house the inmates that are in need of a max. security prison. Its not a good yard. They mess with you badly. Once over the wall they will get a temporary housing unit where they will stay about 2 weeks. Then they will get assighned to whatever their program is going to be. It could be school in the am or pm or it could be a job in the kitchen. or a porter in one of the units. there are 4 units on every yard and they house 1000 inmates total per yard. each yard has their own chow hall. the release you for chow by units and not in order. The CO's can be cool if you stay out of the mix. If your disrespectful they wont put up with you. When the alarms go off everyone has to hit the ground. They dont like it when you dont hit the ground. THey will hit your whole room if you get in trouble out on the yard. Now you have to give your whole room heads up if indeed the cops are coming to hit the room. THere are lifers there and everything they own can get taken away if the stuff is not on their property. this means the CO will take the property away and you cant get it back unless you have a receipt of being the receiver of this property. IF the lifers get their shit taken away cuz you acted up on the yard. be prepared to get your ass kicked good. When you get in trouble it effects the whole room. and there are some asshole CO's there that actually like to stir up shit for you in your room. After 2 weeks of going over the walll your by then in your assigned room where you will do your time until you leave. anything else I can help you with let me know. thank you and have a blessed day.
fireprincess

pati
02-28-2009, 01:57 PM
I was on "D" yard in a room with all "lifers" 3 of them were doing Life without Parole. I was "in transit" going to another institution. I was also the only white person in the room. 4 black, one native American and me. They resented me more for being white than for being a short timer. In fact one told them they sort of enjoyed having a few short timers come and go. It was like having a little bit of the outside. The key to survival was "mind your own business and see nothing" - what went on there was not my business, I was just passing through. Anything less than life is passing through.

pati
02-28-2009, 06:57 PM
When I was there, in 2002, they were putting "in transits", like me, on D yard due to overcrowding. From what I could see of C yard, I was happy they did. I ended up being there for almost a month and there were several lock downs on C yard, for fights, etc. We had it pretty peaceful. Even out on the yard. It seemed the woman were just trying to hang on to whatever peace they had, keep their possessions, get a routine and live their lives. I was the only short timer in my room. I minded my own business and didn't get involved in their conversations unless invited. They gave me a little respect, but were happy to see me go. The women in my room were at about 8 or 9 years into life terms and were on Closed A or B custody.

TimmayWOOHOO
03-02-2009, 07:19 PM
when you get released from ccwf what time does the greyhound heading south leave?

or pretty much what time should i be waiting at the los angeles greyhound stop?

niceey
03-31-2009, 04:13 PM
Hello All,
I served a 2 year sentence at CCWF and paroled in 2002.I was on B yard in unit 508 a SAP program. I remember having a pretty good time there,I know it sounds crazy but,I made the best out of a terrible situation. Every morning I was up at 5:30 way before my 7 other roommates,enjoing a bit of peace and quiet a, couple cups of coffee and a cig when you could still smoke. My room faced the main yard so each day I would see a beautiful sun rise out of my window.I was one of the lucky ones who had family visit and, send me my boxes.I met alot of VERY,VERY nice women who were also far away from real life...i stayed out of the mix and did my time,weekends were spent getting books from the library,hanging out on the yard in the HOT HOT weather.Busy with program during the week. I told myself that I would NEVER return I kept that promise I discharged parole on 8.30.05 with no violataions and have not been back!!! Sometimes I wish I could go back on the weekends just to visit but,have the freedom to leave,I do in a strange way miss it,don't ask me why because it was very scarey to be locked-up in a State Prison.Thank God I never saw any fights or horrible things.Chowchilla did change my life for the best!!!

WyreNut
03-31-2009, 07:51 PM
Congrats niceey on the way you handled your incarceration! Certainly sounded like you turned "lemons into lemonade"! :)

It's also great you've managed to avoid the "revolving door" and not violated parole! It's sure encouraging when I hear of success stories like yours.

I work in "A" yard, and the inmates on my crew just hang their heads on a daily basis when they see women return after mere weeks or months on the outside! They will chew out the ones they know, and the returnee always says the same thing, "I did something really stupid..."

I wish you the best of luck, and thanks for a great post!

WyreNut

Dandylion
04-01-2009, 10:21 AM
Wow, niceey, what an uplifting story. Congrats to you on changing your life and really getting the best out of it. Way to go.

I have a friend in the SAP program. What was that like, if you don't mind me asking? I hope it keeps her busy enough to stay out of trouble...

Thanks for the good and happy post. :)

jennsnana
04-04-2009, 04:57 PM
Hi-just wanted to ask if I'm following directions correctly.I've called Chowchilla looking for CDC# was told to call again in 7 days-meanwhile what is the difference in Valley? Where is receiving located? Should I start writing post cards when I receive CDC#? I hate being out of touch. Seems inhumane for family as well as inmate!
Thanks for all your advise, sure is helpful.

Wolf
04-04-2009, 05:20 PM
Welcome...Jennsnana....
I don't know the answers to your questions but someone will be here soon to answer them for you...

Have a Good Day!!!!

WyreNut
04-04-2009, 05:35 PM
jennsnana, another user posted the CCWF Mail FAQ (which I'm also holding in my hand) here for all to view at this link:

http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=56109&d=1234307521

It will answer most of your mail-related questions.

As far as "where is receiving located?", can you clarify this question? Are you wanting to know which yard it is? ("A" Yard). The building? (501, 502, or usually at first 503.)

HTH,

WyreNut

mahkenna
04-04-2009, 07:50 PM
Hey Wyrenut, how have you been...still teaching the girls?

Jennsnana,

Wyrenut is correct, she is in receiving. Receiving takes a few days to process, so if she just caught the 'chain' to CCWF from county it can take up to 10 days to get her CDC#. During processing they will issue her a CDC#, then assign a counselor, do medical assessment, and get her assigned. This takes a few months, usually 3 months. Then she goes over the wall and is mainlined. She will be assigned a housing unit (yard and room). Once settled in she can ask for phone privlidge and the CO's will set her up. She can call you collect.

I sponsor several girls at CCWF and they have all come through receiving and are over the wall, except one who just arrived about a month ago.
Keep in mind, with the over crowding at CCWF, some inmates are being held temporarily only to be shipped to a different facility. One of my girls arrived the first of March, and they are telling her she may be shipped south to CIW Chino/Corona, Ca. They just cleared all 250 women out of the gym due to the Governor declaring that it was a security risk having so many inmates in one area. Now they have the girls bunked along the walls in the day rooms.

As for her mail, it does NOT matter where your loved one is, if you have her CDC#, write to her, it will eventually catch up. Her CDC# will never change even if she is released and ends up back in.

Do call back in about 7 days, I did this with all my girls and it seems to be the magic #. Make sure you have her name, birth date, and old county #. Sometimes they ask, sometimes they don't.

Good luck and I hope you hear something soon. God bless.....London

CCWFer Friend
12-24-2009, 12:59 AM
I am new to PTO but not to CCWF. I am trying to learn more about the situation of a friend so I can help her. I have tried to help her by written her a couple times a week over the last year. She receives few letters from family or anyone else. She is there for embezzlement and never had any problems before this with the law and is embarrassed about being there. She will write a little about her cell but will never write about the facility or the workings of the prison. When I ask about living conditions, the yard, her unit and eating situation she dances around the subject like I am going to stop writing to her if she is honest. I have asked her to please allow me to go to see her and she says she does not want me to see her there. I am reading this thread and have seen people talk about the different buildings and understand much more about the facility and conditions than I do. Does anyone know anything about 515 and some general information about it, what yard is it associated or anything else that I can speak to her about intelligently? I am hoping that if I can write with a little more understanding so she will realize I donít care about anything but helping her to get through this so she can come home. I know she does not want me to be concerned, but nothing will freak me out and I wonít stop writing as she seems to fear. Can anyone tell me a thing about her building and yard and anything else so I can help her? Thank you.

mahkenna
12-25-2009, 08:51 PM
Hey CCWFer Friend, it's nice that you care so much to want to help. God bless you!! A lot of these girl's have families that have given up on them. I think you are right on the assumption that your friend does not want to disclose her past, and there are several reasons why.

I am not sure of your relationship details, but it is a unspoken rule, and shows respect if you do not ask the details of their crime. If you are interested in helping her, then the thing she will need most is friendship, acceptance, and that someone still believes in them. It is amazing what a little TLC can do.

I have been sponsoring inmates at CCWF for the last 2 years. All of my girls have come from county and I have had the honor of knowing them prior to their prison experience, most up to 4 years. There are those who have shared their entire story with me and some who have not. It does not matter what you know, and if truth be told, sometimes it's best not knowing. These girls only want to know someone cares and that they are not alone. A positive connection to the outside world is an important thing for these women. This connection can be life changing for them.

For most of these women, after many years served, there are a LOT of changes in their lives. Many have come to terms with their crime and punishment. They do not want to keep regurgitating it for everyone who comes along. Part of being in prison is to rehabilitate, and in doing that you are working on redemption and forgiveness. She is probably looking at the future and all the hope that can hold, instead of staying in the past. She needs you to be in the present, and looking at the future with her which will help her move forward. Coming home is a scary thing, and she will need a tremendous amount of support to prepare for her release, (not to mention when she is out)!

You mentioned 515...just for your knowledge, that is in D yard and 515 is the number of her building. Her experience at CCWF will depend on what SHE makes of it. Everything there is NOT bad. If you are respectful to others, stay away from other's drama, contraband, gangs, drugs, respect the CO's, follow the rules, and don't mouth off, you should do fairly well.

This year they are having a Christmas decorating contest on all the yards. The girls get art supplies and cardboard and have been creating all kinds of holiday decorations. The most popular decorations this year is a "Shrek" themed Christmas that was done by the women in one of the yards. All the women had a lot of fun and look forward to cooking and exchanging gifts Christmas day. I was there last weekend doing visits and it was nice to see all the girls so happy.

They also have other holiday celebrations, and sales like 'Costco" day where they can buy shampoos and soaps, candy, muffins, pizza, and other goodies. Again, I do not know how well you two know each other, but if she is a close friend maybe you can send her a birthday, Christmas or other gift of a few dollars for her inmate account. That way she can buy things when they have those special sales. If so, I would not do more than about 25.00 at a time.

Keep writing! Mail is a BIG thing to an inmate. Just stay positive and encourage her to use her time wisely (like school or a job). Two of my girls have received their GED's while at CCWF. One has just come home this year and is going to college to be a Drug and Alcohol Counselor, which was the very thing that put her behind bars! I encouraged her while in county to use her experience to make a difference....I am really proud of her!!!

God bless you for having such a wonderful heart. You are doing a good thing. Best of luck to you and your friend.

Gellybean1974
04-02-2010, 04:42 PM
Hi It has been over a month 1/2 since I sent my daughter our visiting forms? She hasnt mentioned getting them back or when we can visit? Can you tell me how long you waited? Also she is in CCWF but mentioned that they probably would be moving her across the street to VSP? Is that normally what happens after they are in for a short amount of time? She is serving 26-life > God Bless you & yours & Thanks Gellybean*

Shari
04-02-2010, 07:23 PM
I can not answer your question about the visiting, but about the transfering. Right now your daughter is in reception. The reason they might be moving her to VSPW is because that is where there is a bed available for her. My SIL is at VSPW right now.

WyreNut
04-03-2010, 12:08 AM
It's rumored that CCWF may be evolving to a "Reception Center" only type of facility...

I've seen plans to cut half of B yard into an extension of A yard - adding a brick wall to cut it into two yards, and a hole knocked into the existing wall to A yard. The medical facility in A yard (703) is slated to be expanded.

All speculation at this point, but rumors state lifers may be transferred to VSPW when these plans begin to unfurl.

WyreNut

CCWFer Friend
04-03-2010, 01:04 AM
The rumors were flying among the visitors and inmates alike when I was there last weekend talking about closing CCWF as a mainline prison and using it for reception only. Again nobody will know until something actually occurs. The one thing I can see is if they were to do so, the size of VSPW would need to get a lot bigger. The total number of mainline inmates that would be moved from CCWF to VSPW is a lot larger than the space gained by removing those in reception from VSPW and moving them to CCWF. What ever might happen would take time to evolve even if they made the decision to do it today so expect no quick changes if they do occur. Regarding your visitation form, I submitted mine in late October and got it back Dec 24 denied. It took me another month to get my problem straight as I had a minor problem at 14 (30 + years ago) and had to submit a clarification before they approved me. They are blaming furloughs on many delays so expect that and a “be patient” if you inquire. You will get it eventually if you have nothing serious to prevent it. My experience as a visitor has been positive and the other visitors and staff were all helpful and I believe it is simple compared to many men’s facilities. There are not a lot of women there that get regular visitors and I think it helps them tremendously so please do not give up.

arpeee
06-15-2010, 02:26 PM
whats so bad about d yard?

pati
06-16-2010, 09:35 AM
I was only there a short time as an "in transit", but seeing and hearing about all the drama on the other yards I was happy to be on D Yard. The women on D Yard were more "settled in" and just wanted to do their time, many of them "life" and make the best of it. There were exceptions to this, but they were the exception.

CCWFer Friend
06-17-2010, 07:57 PM
The D yard does have many lifer's and higher risk prisoners. There are some lifer's that will never leave and do not mind starting fights as their time is not effected. Mutual combat usually means adding 90 days to both parties time a LWPP prisoner may not care. At times a LWPP will do it for another prisoner who does not want to add 90 and will get something in return. That yard has been on lock down a lot due to fights but at least girls have not been dying in fights like happens in some of the Men's facilities. If she Does her time and keeps low and she will do fine.

kevinwife
09-15-2011, 12:22 PM
my man has been locked up in high desert and now in folsom and bein doing time for 12 years. he consider himself getting instutionalized because he already got used to the same routine day after day. when he talk to me he always refering his cell his house and all that layment term he mention. i told him when he get out in 2 more years i will get a bunk bed for him and a metal toilet and even tell him its lights out at 10:00 he laughed and said make sure there are roman noodles in the cupboard. hee hee

Omg that was the funniest post yet and im going to take your advice bcuz my man does the same thing....he is in CMC and he says things like im at the homie house or the yard is the park...they even have a blvd.SMH at it all!

ivybutterfly
12-14-2012, 04:30 AM
Hi stracka2. I spent 5 years 7 months and 3 days at CCWF and lived in Housing Unit 510. If she has been down for 15 years she is very settled into a routine. Depending on what her job is her day could go very much like this. To begin with Unit 510 is housing unit that has 4 wings. There is an officers station in the middle and a large day room for people to congregate in and watch TV, play cards or simply talk to each other. The wings have 8 or maybe 10 rooms in them. (I have been out since 2000 and just can't remember) 4 or 5 on each side. The rooms have 4 bunk beds in them and 8 lockers. During prison crowding there will be 8 women in each room. There is a small room with a toilet and another small room with the shower. There are two sinks and a table that is about the size of a card table. Women usually get up between 6 and 7 am. Unit is released to the chow hall for breakfast. She probably walks to the chow hall for breakfast where she is also given a sack lunch. After that Programming begins. She is probably put through Work Exchange where they put you through a medal detector to make sure you are not taking contraband to work. I was in the Joint Venture Program and worked from 8am to app 4pm. The programs are work assignments and are pretty much like any job or school you would go to. Ask her about her job. Most work assignments end between 3 and 4pm. At that time you are processed back through (put through the medal detector and patted down) Work Exchange and you must be back in your room for the 4:30 count. During count you must be in your Room on your assigned bunk and a CO comes around and verifies you are there. This process can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 3 hours. Usually it is about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. After the unit is released to Chow for dinner. Usually after she can go outside and walk around a "track" on her own yard or sit in the dayroom and be in her room doing whatever is allowed. The unit shuts down at 9pm or 10pm (again I just can't remember) and the lights are turned down in the housing units for sleep. As for contact, you can give her your phone number and she can call you (collect) or you can ask her for a visiting application and fill it out. Once you are approved you can go visit her. I read some of the other posts that you have received. You should be careful this is true, but in my experience the "Lifers" are usually the model inmates unless they are housed in SHU. You will know if she is in trouble because her return address will change to instead of 510 - at the beginning of the housing location it will change to 501. After 15 years of state prison she is probably just lonely and looking for a friend. She may need stamps and envelopes. The jobs in the prison only pay from $7 - $50 a month and she has to pay for hygiene products (shampoo, etc) and anything she may want for snacks (candy bars, etc) If you really feel like you want to do something nice for her, ask her if she has someone that sends her quarterly packages and maybe help send one or send one yourself. But more than anything, just spend sometime writing to her. Be consistent and remember that you may be her only contact to the outside world. It is always nice to get to know someone on paper. Tell her about your family and things you do. Ask her about herself and her hopes. Just be consistent and reach out to her and you may find a new friend that will listen to you and be there for you when you need her. I hope this has helped. This is the first time I have answered anything on this site. Good luck and God Bless..
Now this is a reply I like. Its not like the other one I read from a very bitter, negative ex inmate, who said it was a God awful place... blah, blah, blah. Yeah, its not my first choice of resorts but it could be a lot worse. There are prisons in the world where you dont bathe or get food daily so, count your blessings. At least California has laws against the mistreatment of inmates. Thanks for your very positive reply to this thread. I agree, if one is able to help an inmate out, please do. They are not all horrible people. Its a chance you have to take.
By the way, I was there and at VSPW for a total of 7 years. again, thank you

ivybutterfly
12-14-2012, 04:36 AM
Oh and I forgot to answer your original question, it's the most god damn awful place on earth and from what I hear it's got worse. A lot of the privilidges we had when I was there, no longer exists, but I guess after 15 years she has made peace with herself and has established a routine....I never did I fought it every day which made it worse for me...but that's mainly due to the fact that I knew I should not have been there in the first place.
That explains why you have such a negative view of CCWF, you fought it all the way. You were probably miserable the whole time you were there huh??? Thats too bad :boogie:. I think telling people its the most God awful place, will only make them worry about their inmate on the inside. I would think we would want to put their minds at ease. Hmmmm,,,, I dont know. Could be wrong (doubt it though).
It actually could be worse. There are many prisons in the world that dont have it nearly as good as the US prisons do. Sorry you had such a horrible experience there. Good luck

tatjanasmom
06-01-2013, 09:19 PM
Wow- It's been a journey for her. Absolutely crazy. My baby girl went in on 4-3-12 and its been a hell hole for her since, as she puts it. I'm not going to try to scare anybody but give you the truth the facts. Alcohol is uncontrollable, and they allow it. Drugs, she says you can get anything in there more easily than off the streets. Fights go on all the time. She's had battles of her own and survived. And the family she's built, she's has a girlfriend, a mother, a brother, a sister...and she's worst off than when she first went in. No hygiene when you need it, she said you have to beg for a roll of toilet paper or a feminine pad. What I think is terrible, is they put lifers with level 1's. Murderers with DUI violators. As she said, you have to do what you have to do in there to survive, to stay alive. It's sad. I worry every day every night. Those lifers can give a rats azz about you. Lord please bring her home in 804 days...and counting. Please keep her safe, guide her protect her and wrap your arms around her.

sidewalker
06-10-2013, 09:20 AM
tatjanasmom, wow. It sure sounds like its gone downhill (I just read thru this whole thread)
I know when my hub was in they didnt get to shower all the time. He said on some days, they just did *bird baths*....sort of like a sponge bath using water from the sink.
This was mostly when he was in reception.(which was 13 months long btw)
Im not sure now if he was allowed to shower everyday once he mainlined or not.

that sucks bad about the TP. I'd be in big trouble!!
And its just wrong about the feminine products.
I wonder can you send those in quarterly packages???
MIght be an idea.

Panwere
12-16-2013, 12:00 AM
Does anyone know where SO's are housed at ccwf? Are they put in ad seg or shu or put in GP? I am looking at doing 6 years and surrendering myself in February. Any information on the process at CCWF would be appreciated.