Democracy Now!

Why Women Prisoners Are Battling California Wildfires

As raging wildfires in California scorch more than 200,000 acres — roughly the size of New York City — more than 11,000 firefighters are battling the blazes, and a number of them are prisoners, including many women inmates. We speak to Romarilyn Ralston with the California Coalition for Women Prisoners-Los Angeles Chapter, who is the program coordinator for Project Rebound at Cal State University. Romarilyn experienced 23 years of incarceration, and while she was incarcerated, she was a fire camp trainer and a clerk for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Reporter Jaime Lowe also joins us to discuss her New York Times Magazine report, “The Incarcerated Women Who Fight California’s Wildfires.”

Learn more about this program from this episode of "Backbone Trail," in which Butchy Fuego meets up with the women of Malibu Fire Camp 13 along his hike.

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