This orientation page is designed for people who want to get more involved with the Drop LWOP Coalition and help us in our mission to end Life Without Parole (LWOP). There are many different ways to support efforts to end LWOP, and we hope this document helps you find out where you’d like to get involved in the coalition!
The mission of the Drop LWOP Coalition is to end Life Without Parole sentencing forever in California. Our goal is to afford relief to those currently serving this sentence, no matter the conviction, through legislative change, commutations, pardons, resentencing, and public awareness about the injustice of the LWOP sentence.
The movement to end the LWOP sentence started with people inside California’s prisons. Inside organizers built increasingly strong connections with each other and advocates outside, creating strong personal and working relationships. Through these connections, several years ago a group of advocates started a storytelling project called A Living Chance with women who had received the LWOP sentence. This project eventually led to the formation of the Drop LWOP Coalition.
Main Focal Areas
There are many ways to reduce and eventually eliminate Life Without Parole. Recently we’ve been framing our efforts in 4 main areas:
- Influencing DA’s
Organization and ‘Structure’
The coalition is relatively young and still growing. Individual volunteers are a huge part of the coalition! Many of our volunteers don’t represent an organization nor are they involved in another group. In other words, come one, come all!
For organizations there isn’t a strict ‘membership’ structure but generally there are several very active organizations with volunteers or staff who regularly participate. Several more groups are strong partners and over 200 more support our efforts.
How to Stay Informed
There are a number of ways to get news about the coalition’s work through our various email lists:
Drop LWOP Organizers Google Group
This is our email list for sending out monthly meeting info, critical updates, announcements, etc. By being added to this list, you will get information to join our statewide monthly meeting, which take place the 3rd Monday of the month at 7:00pm via Zoom. Anyone who wants to get involved on a regular basis should send an email to the below address requesting to be added to this list. email@example.com
Drop LWOP Action Network Email List
This list is used to communicate general updates, bigger events/meetings, and campaign actions. You can sign up for this list on your own by clicking on this link:
Other Communication Media
Resources: On this website, www.droplwop.com, you can find various resources. Note: we are still working on keeping it current with new information!
Instagram: @drop_lwop is our Instagram handle, and generally, we post and share most actively here. Give us a follow!
Facebook: At https://www.facebook.com/droplwopcoalition/ we repost our Instagram posts and sometimes repost other LWOP news.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
Joining a workgroup and volunteering to help with specific activities is a great way to support efforts to end LWOP. Many different skills are needed and welcome – there are many ways to help!
In addition to the monthly statewide meeting, smaller workgroups meet once or twice a month to focus on different working areas. Here is a breakdown of the workgroups.
This group works to keep organizations and individuals informed about Drop LWOP campaign actions via emails, calls and presentations/events.
- Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Meeting time: 2nd and 4th Mondays @ 5-6pm
Legislative Work Group
This committee focuses on legislation that can reduce and ultimately end LWOP.
- Contact: email@example.com
- Meeting time: meets 2nd and 4th Mondays @ 6-7:30pm
This committee seeks to keep those on the inside informed and empowered to fight LWOP.
- Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Meeting time: last Wednesday of the month @ 7pm
Media and Communications
This work group develops messaging related to our efforts to end LWOP and also creates talking points, videos, social media posts, press releases, and letters to the editor.
SOCIAL MEDIA SUBCOMMITTEE
This group creates social media posts and manages our social media presence based on the needs of the coalition.
- Contact: email@example.com
- Meeting time: meets 1st Monday of the month @ 5-6pm
We hope one of these groups sounds like the right for you! Don’t worry if you feel confused after attending some meetings – this is very common because laws, policies and bureaucracy related to LWOP are hard to understand and organizing for change can be difficult. LWOP is part of a very complex system and undoing it is complicated, ever-changing work. We will connect you with a more experienced coalition member, so you have a specific person to talk with about your questions. We are grateful for your help and are here to help you navigate the ins and outs of LWOP!