Cruel and Unusual Punishment Men in Women Prisons

SB 132 Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Cruel and Unusual Punishment Men in Women Prisons

Gender Ideology Yields Cruel and Unusual Treament

Gender ideology hurts everyone: families, children, and women.  If you are using pronouns in your bio, please stop.  Gender ideology led to the passing of SB 132, bad law which endangers women with cruel and unusual punishment – being housed with male inmates, some of which are in prison for rape.

Eighth Amendment

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Women Housed with Men

Independent Women’s Forum has created a Docuseries called, “Cruel and Unusual Punishment“. Real stories from inside women’s prisons. Incarcerated women have been forced to share their female-only spaces with men who identify as women. Here’s the untold fallout.

Jennifer Barela

After serving 15 years behind bars, Barela was released in 2023 and is now on parole. Barela felt compelled to share her experience of being forced to share a living space with a man under California’s new policy because she said she wants to be a voice for the women she left behind. While she personally doesn’t fear retribution and cannot lose her parole, she explained that many current and former inmates do carry this very real fear.

“A lot of ladies there would love to speak out, but there comes retaliation, fear of the men, physical harm, fear of the lawyers, fear of losing their day to come home,” she said. “What little rights that we did have as inmates have been diminished with the ‘trans men’ who’ve come in. And I just hope to give the women back some sort of voice.”

Amie Ichikawa

Amie Ichikawa, 42, now free after serving nearly five years at the Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla, said that some male prisoners claim non-male identities because female prisons are, as a general rule, less violent than men’s prisons.

“There was a male prisoner who had single-cell status in his all-male prison because he assaulted his bunkmates,” Ichikawa said. “He had been isolated in the male prison but they put him directly into the general population here in a room with seven ladies right off the bus.

The law states you can be non-binary, and if you’re non-binary, somehow the women’s prison becomes an option for you. There are some people who have fully transitioned, and there are people who can say they’re in the process, though that doesn’t seem to be the case, and there are some who have absolutely no intention of transitioning and are there just to abuse women and manipulate the system.”

Many men who identify as transgender women are sexually attracted to women.

Alissa Kamholz

After three weeks of living with this man, Kamholz alleged he exposed himself to her female roommates while she wasn’t there. Her roommates reported this to the correctional officers, and staff moved him out of their room. But this move, she added, ended up being a “reward” for the inmate’s “bad behavior.”

Kamholz explained that when her roommates reported their male roommate for exposing himself, the staff moved him to the pre-honor dorm.

“Then once he was in here,” Kamholz said, “he choked out one of his roommates and beat up the other one. They went and reported it, the alarm got pushed, everything, and they rewarded him by moving him into the honor dorm in his girlfriend’s room. It’s ridiculous.”

“People are already getting raped and nobody cares,” Kamholz said. “Honestly, someone in here is going to end up getting killed.”

As it currently stands, Kamholz is set to be considered for parole in 2032. Though many incarcerated women understandably fear speaking out about the male takeover of female prisons—as some have explained to IWF that this can jeopardize their safety or even parole eligibility—Kamholz wanted the public to hear what’s really happening to women behind bars.

“My voice is my weapon and I’m not afraid to use it,” she said. “I am not scared to speak out because, I mean, there’s nothing worse that you can do to me.”

Hector Bravo: Prison Guard Resigns After SB 132

Ferrel, an Army veteran who served in Iraq, began his career with the California Department of Corrections in 2006. Over his 16 years supervising some of the state’s most dangerous criminals, Ferrel worked his way up from the rank of a correctional officer to a correctional lieutenant.

But one year after California began implementing Senate Bill 132 (SB 132), a law that allows incarcerated individuals who identify as transgender, “non-binary,” and “intersex” to request to be housed and searched in a manner consistent with their “gender identity,” Ferrel walked away from his stable, lucrative career.

“Some of them are in there for sex crimes,” Ferrel said. “That’s unethical, that’s immoral, that’s dangerous.”

Ferrel is one of the first whistleblowers from the correctional world to speak out about the effects of a new law that allows biological males to transfer into women-only prisons, and to be routinely searched, often fully nude, by female prison staff.

“Now you have females looking at the male body parts—and the inmates are demanding it,” Ferrel said.

Correctional staff are required to search inmates multiple times a day. “Every time an inmate goes to a visit, every time an inmate exits his cell to go to the Ad Seg [administrative segregation] yard, when they go work in a vocational trade, they get strip searched to and from,” Ferrel said. “Every time there is an incident and the inmate is placed in a holding cell, an unclothed body search is conducted per policy.”

In 2020, when Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed SB 132 into law, Ferrel was working at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in southern San Diego, a maximum-security men’s prison that houses nearly 3,000 male inmates convicted of crimes including murder, rape, and lewd and lascivious acts with persons under 14.

“That’s when the males started, by the numbers, identifying themselves as females to the point where we were now giving them transgender identification cards so that they can purchase female products at the canteen such as mumus, makeup, bras, tampons,” he said.

As part of his job, Ferrel said he and his fellow correctional staff had to oversee and facilitate the transfer of males who identified as women or “non-binary” to female institutions.

Sexual Predatory Behaviors: Like Kids in Candy Store

“Oh, they were excited,” Ferrel said of the inmates’ response to the new law. “They were excited because California, the Department of Corrections, gave them a perfect storm to be able to exploit their sexual predatory behaviors.”

“They were like kids in the candy store,” he added, “because they knew they were going from a men’s prison to a female’s prison. And we would watch them take off in the bus.”

As Ferrel watched more male inmates begin to identify as transgender, seemingly to gain access to the women’s prisons, his concern for the well-being of female inmates grew.

“As we’re speaking right now, you have male inmates housed in female prisons and God knows what’s happening in those walls and in those cells,” he said. “I’m not talking about things in the past. I’m talking about what’s happening now, and this is why I left.”

In addition to the effects of SB 132, Ferrel said he witnessed a host of corruption, retaliation, and unethical behavior that led him to resign. He shares these experiences on his social media and YouTube pages, going by the moniker, That Prison Guard.

Correciontal Staff Hands Are Tied

Correctional staff, Ferrel said, “know in their heart” that men demanding to be strip searched by female staff and transferring into women’s prisons is not right. “They reach out to me,” he said. “It doesn’t sit well.”

However, he said the hands of correctional officers are tied.

“Their job is not to stop the individual from going into there… they’re simply there opening and unlocking gates,” Ferrel said. “He’s already been approved through the proper chains to let the wolf go into the chicken’s den.”

Purposely Putting a Predator Amongst Prey

There is “an obligation to protect the ones in our custody,” he said. “They are inmates in our custody. And if you’re purposely putting a predator amongst prey, so to say, I don’t got to tell you what’s going to happen—you know what’s going to happen.”

Evelyn Valiente

As a victim of sexual assault, Evelyn Valiente* is particularly sensitive to the presence of abusive and aggressive men. But under SB132, a California law that opened women’s prisons to male offenders who identify as “transgender women,” Valiente had no choice but to share her living space with dangerous male predators.

The policy was implemented with no regard for Valiente’s safety or past traumas.

“It’s like constant high alert,” she said, describing the feeling of being trapped. “I don’t know if I can handle more [of them] coming in here. That was the constant stress, like, ‘Oh my gosh, we got to get out of here. We got to get out of here. How are we going to get out of here?’ Because this is not stopping, and they’re going to keep bringing more.”

After serving two decades in Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) for murder, Valiente was granted parole in 2022. Despite now being far away from Chowchilla, Valiente still fears blackmail and retaliation for speaking out about her experience being incarcerated with male inmates. For that reason, Valiente spoke with Independent Women’s Forum using a pseudonym.

“I don’t want anything that could put me in a situation they could use to violate me, send me back to prison, give me a hard time,” she said. “If this person found out that I’m speaking out, he would continue to make a lot of problems for me.”

Valiente voiced particular concern about one male inmate inside CCWF who she said was known to be “manipulative, calculating [and] vindictive.”

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