All of Us or None
All of Us or None is a national organizing
initiative of prisoners and former prisoners to combat the many forms of
discrimination that prisoners face upon release. They do not answer
letters from prisoners, but rather are active in several local and
national campaigns, including BAN THE BOX, a movement to end job
discrimination based on felony convictions.
Amnesty International compiles information about
prisoner torture, beatings, rape, etc. to include in reports about U.S.
prison conditions; also works on death penalty issues.
California Coalition for Women Prisoners
CCWP is a grassroots social justice organization,
with members inside and outside prison, that challenges the
institutional violence imposed on women and
communities of color by the prison industrial complex. CCWP also visits
women prisoners in CA and produces a newsletter "The Fire Inside," free
to women prisoners.
California Families to Abolish Solitary Confinement
CFASC is dedicated to stopping the inhumane
treatment of prisoners within the California penal system, especially
those held in solitary confinement. Their ultimate goal is to end the
use of solitary confinement, with short-term goals to reduce the use of
solitary confinement and to insist on due process and fairness. CFASC
supports the five core demands put forth by the Pelican Bay Hunger
California Prison Focus
CPF is a human rights and civil rights group that
investigates conditions in the California SHUs (control/isolation
units), organizes and advocates for prisoners' rights, and provides
self-help legal materials including "Challenging Gang Validation" manual
(see listing at the end of this directory). Write for publications list.
Center for Constitutional Rights
CCR is a non-profit legal and educational
organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force
for social change and dedicated to advancing and protecting rights
guaranteed by the US Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights. CCR is currently
litigating the Ashker v Brown challenge to solitary confinement in CA.
CCR co-publishes the Jailhouse Lawyers Handbook with the National
Center for Health Justice
CHJ serves prisoners in the Los Angeles County
Jails and throughout California, and also provides a free national
prisoner HIV prevention & treatment hotline service that accepts collect
calls from inmates during regular business hours (Monday-Friday 8 to
3pm, Pacific Time). Their hotline provides general HIV treatment and
prevention information, support for callers who are ill or newly
diagnosed HIV+, and advocacy support regarding medical care,
medications, or other health related issues inside the jails and prisons
across the country. CHJ also provides the following publications for
prisoners: HepC Inside and HIV Inside. Write for further information
about their services or to obtain a copy of their publications.
Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants
CURE organizes prisoners, their families and other
concerned citizens to achieve reforms in the criminal-justice system,
and has a presence in 40 states. Write or check their website for
complete listing or addresses of state chapters.
Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants
(CURE) National Office -
A prisoner advocacy group with chapters in all 50
states. Write for contact info for the CURE chapter in your state.
Correctional Association of New York
Founded in 1844, the Correctional Association of
New York (CA) is an independent non-profit organization that advocates
for a more humane and effective criminal justice system and a more just
and equitable society. CA has three working projects: the Women in
Prison Project, the Prison Visiting Project, and the Juvenile Justice
Critical Resistance (CR) seeks to build an
international movement to end the Prison Industrial Complex by
challenging the belief that caging and controlling people makes everyone
safe. CR also publishes a newspaper three times a year entitled "The
Abolitionist," which is free to prisoners.
Disability Rights Texas
Focus area/description: Advocacy for disabled
people in county jails, but not prisons, within the Texas Department of
Criminal Justice system.
Edwin Gould Services for Children
- The IMP is a specially designed preventive program
that addresses the unique needs of mothers parenting their children from
prison in New York. The main goal of the IMP is to prevent foster care
placement by assisting women and their children during and after the
time of arrest; court; jail; and as they return to the community. IMP
provides advocacy, foster care prevention, counseling, and vocational
training, and also prison-based parenting groups to serve fathers.
Equal Justice Initiative
The Equal Justice Initiative provides legal
representation to indigent defendants and prisoners who have been denied
fair and just treatment in the legal system. They litigate on behalf of
condemned prisoners, juvenile offenders, people wrongly convicted or
charged with violent crimes, poor people denied effective
representation, and others whose trials are marked by racial bias or
Families Against Mandatory Minimums
FAMM is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization
fighting for fair and proportionate sentencing laws that allow judicial
discretion while maintaining public safety, and primarily advocates for
state and federal sentencing reform.
Florida Justice Institute
The Florida Justice Institute (FJI) is a nonprofit
public interest law firm that conducts civil rights litigation and
advocacy in the areas of prisoners' rights, housing discrimination,
disability discrimination, and other areas that impact the lives of
Florida's poor and disenfranchised. This includes cases for persons
currently or formerly incarcerated in a Florida prison or jail involving
mistreatment while incarcerated, or involving the conditions of the
facility. FJI does not
accept criminal or post-conviction cases (meaning anything related to a
criminal case, including criminal appeals, sentencing motions, Rule
3.850 or 3.800 motions, clemency petitions, and habeas corpus
Forever Family, Inc.
Forever Family is an advocacy group for
incarcerated parents which provides helpful information for all parents
in prison who have children, but can only provide social services in the
Friends Committee on Legislation of California
Quaker founded group that advocates and lobbies for
CA state laws that are just, compassionate, and respectful of the
inherent worth of every person. They publish a free quarterly
periodical, the FCLCA Newsletter, which keeps track of pending
Friends and Family of Louisiana's Incarcerated
FFLIC is a statewide membership-based organization
that fights for a better life for all of Louisiana's youth, especially
those involved in or targeted by the juvenile justice system.
Friends Outside provides services and support to
visitors at each California State Prison. The primary purpose of the
Visitor Centers is to remove barriers to visiting in order to encourage
visits and thereby support family and community unification. Visitor
Centers are located outside the prison walls, but on prison grounds, and
usually adjacent to the visitor parking lots. Visitor Centers provide
childcare, transportation, information and resources, and a restful and
welcoming place to stop for a moment before and after visits. Write for
Human Rights Coalition
HRC advocates for abolishment of solitary
confinement in Pennsylvania prisons. Publishes HRC Legal Pamphlet
Series, other pamphlets and information letters, and the "PA Prison
Directory Action Guide" (2009) (too many pages for them to print & mail,
but available for download on their website).
Legal Aid Society Prisoner's Rights Project
The Prisoner's Rights Project (PRP) protects and
enforces the legal rights of New York City and New York State prisoners
through litigation, advice, and assistance to individual prisoners. PRP
does not deal with prisoners' criminal cases or sentences or matters
related to parole.
Legal Action Center (New York)
The Legal Action Center's mission is to assist New
York state residents to fight discrimination against those with
histories of addiction, HIV/AIDS, or criminal records, and to advocate
for sound public policies in these areas. Write for list of free
Legal Services for Prisoners with Children
LSPC publishes manuals, reports, fact sheets and
pamphlets for CA prisoners in the following areas: Family Matters
(guardianship, visitation, pregnancy, domestic violence); Reentry
Services; Prison Conditions (isolation and other). They also publish A
Manual on SSI/SSDI for Prisoners and Their Advocates.
Mettanokit is a non-profit learning center and
service organization working for a more human society based on the old
values of cooperation and equality and the closeness and caring found in
our elder tribal societies. Part of their program is offering Native
circles in prisons, with 10 of these circles currently in New England
prisons. Description of these may be found in the book Ending Violent
Crime. Descriptions of the Native American traditions that provide an
understanding for much of this work may be found in the book Return to
Creation. Write for further information and list of books for sale.
Middle Ground Prison Reform
Working for Arizona's prisoners and their families
since 1983. Main areas of activity are: 1) public education about the
need for criminal justice reform 2) legislative advocacy on behalf of
prisoners and their visitors 3) litigation to protect and define the
rights and responsibilities of prisoners and their supporters 4)
referral to community resources for ex-offenders. Spanish-speaking
NAACP Legal Defense Fund Inc.
NAACP Legal Defense Fund Is a non-profit law firm
which deals only with cases of obvious race discrimination and affecting
broad classes of people. They also handle a small number of capital
defense and life without parole cases.
National Jericho Movement
National Jericho Movement is a political prisoner
support group working to free all Political Prisoners.
National Lawyers Guild Prison Law Project
The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) helps publish the
Jailhouse Lawyers Handbook (see separate listing) on bringing civil
rights claims alleging violation of constitutional rights in prison or
jail. NLG does not provide lawyers or legal assistance, but does provide
free membership for jailhouse lawyers.
Navajo Nation Corrections Project -
A pioneer in the realm of prisoner advocacy, the
Navajo Nation Corrections Project not only promotes Native inmates'
dignity and recovery through access to culturally appropriate religious
rites, but also wages a passionate defense of a basic human and civil
right already guaranteed to non-Native inmates' free practice of their
NJ Office of the Corrections Ombudsman
The Office of the Corrections Ombudsman provides a
mechanism for the continuing resolution of issues, problems or
complaints of state sentenced prisoners within New Jersey's Correctional
System regarding their living conditions and treatment.
NYC Jericho Movement
Jericho is a movement with the defined goal of
gaining recognition that political prisoners and prisoners of war exist
inside of the United States, despite the United States' government's
continued denial. One of Jericho's current goals is to educate the
public about political prisoners in US prisons, and to help win amnesty
and freedom for these political prisoners.
The Osborne Association
The Osborne Association offers opportunities for
individuals who have been in conflict with the law to transform their
lives through innovative, effective, and replicable programs that serve
the community by reducing crime and its human and economic costs.
Services limited to New York prisoners and their families. Write for
list of programs and services.
Partnership for Safety & Justice
Advocacy group focused on changing public safety
policy in Oregon only. Publishes newsletter and Prisoner Support
Directory for Oregon prisoners.
Pathfinders of Oregon
Pathfinders of Oregon has several successful
programs in prisons and the community, including the Center for Family
Success, Children's Justice Alliance, Parenting Inside Out, Pathfinder
Academy, and Living in Freedom Today, an alternative to incarceration
program. For Oregon prisoners only.
Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project
- The Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project (PILP)
seeks to deliver civil legal services to the institutional population in
Pennsylvania. PILP was created and designed to meet the needs of low
income residents of Pennsylvania prisons, jails, hospitals, and state
Pennsylvania Prison Society
- Does advocacy work, including prison visits and
publishes "Graterfriends," a monthly newsletter for people in prison
which is primarily inmate guided.
People's Law Office
Fights for justice for people who have been
tortured or physically abused, wrongfully arrested or convicted,
unfairly sentenced to death, or targeted as a result of their political
beliefs or organizing efforts on behalf of movements struggling for
justice and liberation.
Prisoners' Legal Services of Massachusetts
Prisoners' Legal Services promotes the safe, humane
and lawful treatment of Massachusetts prisoners through civil rights
litigation, administrative advocacy, client counseling, and outreach to
policy makers and the public. Prisoners' Legal Services Litigation
Priority Areas are: Health Care, including mental health care; Staff
Assaults; Extreme Conditions of Confinement; & Segregation.
Prisoners' Legal Services of New York
PLS provides free legal services to New York State
prisoners. The decision to assist with any particular case depends on
the issue or problem presented, the chance of success, the amount of
time and resource necessary to properly assist, the office's resources,
staff availability and caseload. Also publishes Pro Se newsletter six
times per year for inmates in New York State prisons, providing
information and analysis on recent developments in prison law. To
subscribe, send a subscription request with prisoner's name, DIN number,
and facility to Pro Se, 114 Prospect Street, Ithaca, NY 14850. Past
issues of Pro Se from 2003-2013 are downloadable from their website.
Prison University Project
The mission of the Prison University Project is to
provide excellent higher education programs to people incarcerated at
San Quentin State Prison; to create a replicable model for such
programs; and to stimulate public awareness and meaningful dialogue
about higher education and criminal justice in California. The central
goals of the College Program at San Quentin are to educate and challenge
students intellectually; to prepare them to lead thoughtful and
productive lives inside and outside of prison; to provide them with
skills needed to obtain meaningful employment and economic stability
post-release; and to prepare them to become providers, leaders, and
examples for their families and communities.
Project AVARY offers long-term support and
enrichment for children and youth in the San Francisco Bay Area with a
parent in prison or jail. Our program services include a summer camp,
monthly outings, leadership training, and family support. Write for
Santa Cruz Barrios Unidos
The Santa Cruz Barrios Unidos Prison Project is
dedicated to providing cultural and spiritual education, support, and
hope to incarcerated individuals. The Project advocates for prison
policy reform and programs that reduce recidivism, support re-entry, and
Sentencing and Justice Reform Advocacy (SJRA)
SJRA Advocate contains useful and timely
information on California prisoner and prison issues. SJRA's goal is to
publish truthful information to educate, motivate and inspire prisoners,
families, the general public, lawyers, legislators and local lawmakers.
Prisoners may obtain 12 issues of SJRA Advocate for $18; for all others
the cost is $20. Prisoners may also pay with First Class stamps; 3
stamps for a single issue; 20 stamps for 6 issues; and 40 stamps for 12
The Sentencing Project
The Sentencing Project is a national policy
research and advocacy organization that works for a fair and effective
criminal justice system by promoting sentencing reform and alternatives
to incarceration. They produce excellent reports on topics related to
sentencing policy, racial disparities, drug policy, juvenile justice and
voting rights. Write for list of available publications (fact sheets,
policy briefs, annual reports, newsletters, brochures) or further
Solitary Watch works to expose and oppose the use
of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons and jails, and offers a free
quarterly newsletter to prisoners. Solitary Watch also welcomes
submissions of writing by those currently or formerly serving time in
Texas Civil Rights Project
The Prisoners' Rights Program works to improve
conditions in Texas prisons and jails through litigation and advocacy.
The Prisoners' Rights Program concentrates on cases that will have broad
impact by changing a policy or creating other systemic relief.
Texas Jail Project
The Texas Jail Project seeks to improve the
conditions for approximately 67,000 people'mothers, fathers, brothers,
sons, sisters, and daughters'who are incarcerated in Texas county jails.