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Oct 19, Irvine: Surviving Prison & ICE Detention, Freeing Criminalized Survivors
October 19, 2018 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
UC Irvine Initiative to End Family Violence
Surviving Prison & ICE Detention, Freeing Criminalized Survivors
A Discussion with Ny Nourn and Colby Lenz
Friday, October 19, 2018
12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Education Building (EDU), 1111
401 East Peltason Drive Irvine, CA 92697-8000
This event is free and open to the public.
To request reasonable accommodations for a disability, please contact email@example.com.
Life Without Parole Sentencing (LWOP) has been called a “living death penalty,” and 90% of people serving LWOP in California’s women’s prisons are survivors of abuse. Ny Nourn and Colby Lenz will discuss how particular sentencing laws contribute to the pipeline between surviving gender violence and being sentenced to life and life without parole, as well as how recent LWOP commutations by Governor Jerry Brown have emboldened political action against some of these laws. Presenters will also explore critical grassroots effort across the walls of prisons and ICE detention to commute DV survivors serving life and death sentences, release those convicted under the Felony Murder Rule, drop LWOP sentencing from California’s penal code, gain pardons for undocumented immigrant survivors, and end the criminalization of survival.
About Ny Nourn and Colby Lenz
Ny Nourn was criminalized for surviving an abusive relationship as a teenager and sentenced to life without parole for her abusive boyfriend’s deadly violence. After 16 years in prison, Ny finally won parole, but immigration officers arrested her as she left prison. Ny was born in a refugee camp in Thailand after her mother fled genocide in Cambodia. Although a US permanent resident, Ny’s conviction made her an “aggravated felon” subject to mandatory deportation. In November 2017, after an outpouring of community support, Ny walked out of jail as a free person for the first time in over 16 years. Since her release from ICE detention, Ny continues her advocacy work as an organizer with Survived & Punished and a member of the Asian Prisoner Support Committee. Currently, Ny is the 2018 Yuri Kochiyama Fellow at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus (ALC).
Colby Lenz is an organizer and legal advocate with the California Coalition for Women Prisoners and the Transgender Advocacy Group. Colby is also a co-founder and organizer with Survived & Punished, a national organizing project to end the criminalization of survivors of sexual and domestic violence. Colby has been visiting people in California’s women’s prisons for the past 14 years, advocating across the walls to build people’s capacity for survival and to achieve release. Colby is also a Davis-Putter scholar and Ph.D. candidate in American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. Colby researches criminalization, gender violence, and social movements in California, with an emphasis on life without parole sentencing and the social movements that emerge from these conditions.