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The California Habeas Project, also known as The Habeas Project, is a collaboration that advocates for reducing the sentences of domestic violence survivors incarcerated for crimes related to their experiences of being abused. The constituent organizations in the collarborative include: Free Battered Women, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, California Women's Law Center, USC Post-Conviction Justice Project, and the Los Angeles County Public Defender's Office.[1] The Habeas Project recruits volunteer legal teams from private law firms to represent incarcerated survivors of domestic violence.[2] The Habeas Project began working with women in prison in 2002 after the California penal code was altered to give battered women in California prisons a chance for a new hearing. By 2007, the Habeas Project had facilitated the release of 19 survivors of domestic violence from prison.[3]

According to The Los Angeles Times, The California Habeas Project has also voiced strong criticism of Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley's handling of domestic violence cases.[4]


  1. California Habeas Project
  2. San Francisco Chronicle (09/10/2007)
  3. "A Life Without Bars" by Elizabeth Fernandez, San Francisco Chronicle 07/15/2007
  4. The Los Angeles Times (12/07/2007)
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