Executive Director, Gloria Killian was released from prison on August 8, 2002 after serving more than 16 years of a 32 years to life sentence for a crime that she did not commit. While incarcerated, Ms. Killian, a former law student, was assigned to the prison law library where she worked for 14 years as a true "jailhouse lawyer" providing legal assistance for inmates as well as staff. She worked extensively with battered women, and developed specialized legal services for many different areas of the prison. She was instrumental in the founding of the USC Law Project at the California Institution for Women (CIW). During her time in prison, Ms. Killian published several articles including two in the prestigious USC Law Review, entitled, "Equal Justice for Some" and "Justice: One Woman's Perspective". The latter was co-authored with Brenda Aris, the first battered woman to be granted clemency in the State of California thanks to Gloria's support. Gloria is the chair for the Action Committee for Women in Prison.

Susan Burton was born in Los Angeles, CA. September 27, 1951, and raised in a housing project called Aliso Village. In 1981, an LAPD Detective killed her 5-year-old son. Devastated, she began to drink heavily and use drugs to deal with the pain. In 1985, she was sentenced to State Prison for possession. For the next 12 years she was a victim of the Prison Industrial Complex, serving 5 sentences. In 1997, Susan found drug treatment and a way out. Afterwards, she returned to South Los Angeles and worked as a Home Health Aid. She attended community meetings at the Community Coalition, where she received education about the Prison Industrial Complex. Ms. Burton made a commitment to save her modest earnings and start a nonprofit project, A New Way of Life Foundation. She now runs 2 homes that have served more than 100 women and several children have been reunited with their mothers. Her work demonstrates that formerly incarcerated people can succeed when they receive reentry services. Her work has been spotlighted on numerous TV shows, news broadcasts, newspapers and national magazines. Ms. Burton has been called to testify before the State Senate and in Senate Roundtables.

Marilyn Montenegro, Ph.D., LCSW is a social worker who has provided social work services for women in prison and women leaving prison for over 20 years. She is the coordinator of the CA Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers Women's Council Prison Project, and an active member of the Action Committee for Women in Prison, which she co-founded. Ms. Montenegro's years of experience in working with female prisoners has prompted several State and grassroots' organizations to seek her consultation to better serve post-incarceration women. The National Association of Social Workers chose her as Social Worker of the Year in 2002. She received a Mary Rhodes Award from the Loretto Women's Network in 2003.

Christina Vogt. Ph.D., LMFT has been actively involved in women's causes and advocacy for several years. She has written several articles on feminist concerns and has spoken at several conferences worldwide, including the World Women's Congress in Uganda, the Women in Science and Technology Forum at the University of Havana, the Association for Women in Development in Guadalajara, Mexico and the American Association of University Women's Global Education Conference in Washington DC. Moreover, she is a member of several feminist research groups and founded a global news service, GenderWatchers. Ms. Vogt currently teaches at both Loyola and USC while also working with post-incarceration drug addicts. Ms. Vogt is actively involved with the Action Committee for Women in Prison.

Julia Harmon Chavez, MS first became concerned about the increasing number of girls and women entering the criminal justice system 8 years ago when she worked for an a child advocacy agency in Chicago. This work influenced her decision to focus her graduate school thesis on recidivism and relapse among female prisoners. Once she moved to Los Angeles in 1998, she furthered her passion for working on behalf of disenfranchised communities by co-founding a nonprofit organization, Unity Bridges, through developing and coordinating retreats/conferences for women from various socioeconomic and racial backgrounds that want to address issues of race, class, sexism, and abuse and heal through a multicultural environment and movement. Ms. Chavez also serves as an active member of the Action Committee for Women in Prison. Julia now works as an independent contractor helping various local organizations with technical assistance, coordinating events, and organizational development. She spends her free time raising her young son, Julian as a single mother.

Action Committee for Women in Prison