Updated: Jul 10
"Editors are interested in the SB132 story; where are the women's stories?" A question posed by a talented and focused professional freelance reporter, who like myself, colors outside the lines when it comes to painting true pictures of human institutions that put lives at risk for profit. While this seasoned journalist cooks up her next story that will testify to men making sure women stay second class citizens in their prisons -under the inhumane treatment of SB132 -I am simultaneously telling stories of women adversely affected. The unkind legislation, SB132, was coauthored, drafted, sponsored, and helped passed by Transgender Gender-Variant & Intersex Justice Project (TGI JP), and San Francisco Senator Scott Wiener; signed into law by Governor Newsom in 2020. SB132 allows XY chromosome men from segregated, gang infested, maximum security men's prisons who suddenly identify as not male, to overtake the only 2 women's prisons in California. Never mind the fact women represent less than 1% of the incarcerated population, make up 2 of the 33 prisons in the state, and are already overcrowded, Senator Wiener and Governor Newsom were warned there would be problems with their plan and have been informed that the women in Central California Women's facility and California Institute for Women, are in crisis behind crimes committed against the women by the male inmates to no avail.
Not only are women navigating sharky waters rife with predator men who have been convicted of rape, forcible copulation, kidnapping, child molesters, and other sex crimes, but women are forced to pretend like the same opportunity to successfully rehabilitate still exists in the more egregiously toxic and masculine, unsafe and unpredictable environment. CDCr has gone as far as de-beautifying the yards cutting the rose bushes and trees down to the ground; the same way CDCr is required to do in men's prisons for safety, security, and escape reasons; problems women never had.
I'm a wrongly incarcerated, former California Highway Patrol Officer, falsely arrested by a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department SWAT style team, two years after Detectives Aguilera and Salerno ruled the tragedy that claimed my abuser's life, an "accident." It's my informed belief that I was treated more inhumanely for being a Black female CHP officer that allowed myself to be abused by my husband, which escalated into the accidental discharge
of a faulty Titan .25, on a manufacturer's recall for accidental discharges -- staining the CHP badge. My workplace trauma, PTSD induced hyper vigilant lifestyle, and the embarrassment I caused CHP, gave California every reason they needed to devalue my life. It's my educated and expert opinion, being wrongly incarcerated more than 12 years, that leads me to believe California places higher value on the life of XY chromosome males than women. Especially when we are dealing with law enforcement. I find the hypocrisy of over-reaching, and holding me accountable to murder for an unfortunate accident during an unpredictable domestic confrontation, reprehensible, seeing how California has placed me in a more dangerous position, at risk of having another deadly confrontation with abusive violent men -- jeopardizing my freedom and life.
After 12 years of complicated incarceration I managed to find extraordinary ways to overcome and survive California. I've done everything I can to prove beyond a reasonable doubt I turned the impossible, into success. But California has consistently held me back from an early parole I earned through positive programming, facilitating, leadership, and esteemed conduct. In the face of sabotage orchestrated by male inmates to enable California in its efforts to hold me hostage in CCWf, I still rise. While Wiener and Newsom have released a mean group of setbacks into the CCWf ecosystem, there are other women who are being held back by California hypocrisy and politics.
Kaylee Weisenberg’s story:
Here's a snippet of a press release issued by carceral California:
Governor Newsom Reverses Parole for Kaylee Ann Weisenberg who killed CHP Officer (Author: District Attorney Date: 5/3/2023 2:00:17 PM) After DA Dow urged in writing, Governor Newsom has reversed the Board of Parole Hearings' earlier decision to release Kaylee Ann Weisenberg who was convicted and sentenced to prison for the 2010 brutal killing of California Highway Patrol Officer Brett Oswald (48). District Attorney Dan Dow announced today that Governor Gavin Newsom has reversed the Parole Board's
December 2022 decision to release Kaylee Ann Weisenberg from prison. In March 2023, District Attorney Dow submitted a letter to Governor Newsom urging him to reverse the decision to release Weisenberg on parole because the District Attorney believed that Ms. Weisenberg still remains a dangerous threat to public safety. "I am grateful for Governor Newsom’s decision to reverse the Board of Parole Hearings’ decision,” said District Attorney Dan Dow. “We agree with the Governor’s conclusion that Weisenberg currently poses
an unreasonable danger to society if released from prison at this time.” Governor Newsom played the genie in a bottle: DA Dow rubbed Newsom up and his wish was the governor's command. Is that how the law works -- that's how we distribute justice in California when people have done all the work necessary to complete a 12 year bid of rehabilitation? Newsom disregarded the law and gave DA Dow two bites at the same apple of incarceration. I want to know what evidence are they relying on to prove Weisenberg poses an "unreasonable danger to society" 12 years later? A concerned citizen I asked about this case stated, "politicians are always changing the rules. They pass these laws but when it's for someone they don't agree with, they don't play by the rules. If you're putting things in place -do it, or don't give that sentence."
According to a multitude of decisions handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court, neither Board of Parole or the Governor can deny parole based on case factors already known to be true prior to rehabilitating the old behavior. A rehabilitated person subjected to the subjectivity of "unreasonable danger," would had to have exhibited a pattern of documented behavior consistent with the old behavior leading up to the board of parole hearing to appropriately deem them an "unreasonable danger." In Weisenberg's case, she would had to have failed urine tests for illegal substances, received write ups for testing positive for controlled substances, had drug/alcohol possession charges, etc. None of that is true for Weisenberg, so Dow and Newsom have no real justifiable reason to reverse what a panel of expert commissioners deemed suitable in Miss Weisenberg.
Newsom and Dow used a typical tired default excuse officials use when their reason to hold a suitable person hostage is beholden to a hidden agenda. Politics. In prison speak, Newsom made that shit up. I can imagine Dan Dow passing the lame excuse to Newsom like a kite going to the next cell block where Newsom made the prison more difficult to rehabilitate in.
To wrap this story in the bow of controversy, another concerned citizen I conferred with about this case had a similar thought process to mine, commenting, "the statement from Newsom does not say anything about the reason for overturning parole being connected to the victim being CHP, but I agree that it seems very likely that was the actual motivation. I only wish he was concerned about the mistreatment that you [Tomiekia], former CHP officer, have been going through!"
CDCr, you can't have it both ways. You can't hold back women who have successfully rehabilitated in an environment you poisoned, and hold hostage women like myself and Weisenberg who've accomplished the extraordinary behind
these bloody bars. No life is more valuable than the next. California should be eager to rescue women with the law, based on the merit of proven rehabilitation, from an institution that is in a perpetual downward spiral.
CDCr is a big proponent of restorative justice, this brand of justice requires all parties, victims, and impacted people to embark on individual and communal roads to recovery. Without consistent holistic healing from everyone, justice is incomplete. Unreconciled healing and placing men's rights before a woman's, eventually returns as jaded scrutiny that doesn't hold back against the state and the victim's families.
Restorative justice has a successful trajectory Dow, Newsom, and the impacted victims are not following. The proper amends being made by the rehabilitated is simultaneously rejected by folks held hostage to a victim's state of mind, toxic to restorative justice, which has its own language progressing from the most basic forms -- growing upward to grammar's finest poetic justice. The process starts with deep pain, grief, and anger, the ripple effect of violence against a loved one takes on a family and community. With the assistance of bereavement, clergy, trauma informed therapy, counseling, higher forms of victim services, and the will to heal from the affected people, hearts begin to mend. Through education, victim impact awareness, and healing, affected people become more informed about cycles of violence, societal breakdowns as contributing factors to crime, and the power of forgiveness, reconciliation, and redemption versus prolonged retribution, revenge, and eye for an eye actions against the rehabilitated.
Holding obviously rehabilitated women like myself and Kaylee Weisenberg in contempt of parole -- by vengeance -- is not only morally wrong, but it's outside the scope of the laws that codify opportunities for early parole to the truly rehabilitated.
It's egregiously negligent Newsom has made CCWf drastically more stressful -- by dripping hostile, program disrupting men to the streams of our rehabilitation processes -- than the environments awaiting us at home with a loving family and community. When I asked Kaylee her thoughts on Newsom taking her parole date due to his assumptions she will not be able to handle the stressful triggers of life beyond bars, she humbly responded, "I live the 12 steps; it's drug infested in here; drugs are easier to get. There's nothing more triggering than having my date taken 4 days before parole. I'm pretty sure what I'm going to face in the real world isn't going to amount to this, and I'm sober, didn't relapse.”