Credit: Andalusia Knoll
Albert Cobarrubius Justice Project, De-Bug
Creators of “participatory defense” – a community organizing model for people facing charges, their families, and communities to impact the outcome of cases and transform the landscape of power in the court system
All of Us or None
Prison sentences for millions of people with felony convictions never really end when prejudice and discrimination based on felony criminal histories persist outside the prison walls. Former prisoners, prisoners, people convicted of felonies and their allies have come together to combat the many forms of life-long discrimination in All of Us or None.
Arizona Prison Watch Blog
Keeping citizens informed on current developments regarding law enforcement, local jails, detention centers, state and federal prisons, the private prison industry, courts, and relevant legislation in Arizona.
Attica Prison Uprising 101: A Short Primer
This publication about the Attica Prison uprising of 1971 is not intended to be a curriculum guide, but a brief primer for educators and organizers. It includes a timeline of events (with primary sources); testimonies from Attica prisoners; poetry by Attica prisoners; sample activities for youth; and other suggested resources. We do not claim to have addressed all of the complexity of the rebellion in this short document. This is by no means intended to be the definitive word about the context and meaning(s) of the rebellion. We simply offer this resource as another in the long line of publications that have been produced about the Attica uprising. We do so knowing that we will omit a lot important information. This is unavoidable.
This guide was produced by organizers and educators rather than by historians. While we tried to be objective, we are not neutral. We state this unabashedly and honestly. We sincerely hope that this material is useful to you if you plan to discuss the Attica uprising with your students, community members, and others. We encourage others in the future to add to our collective knowledge about the Attica Rebellion and its legacy.
Finally, we invite you to freely reproduce and distribute this primer. We ask that it be disseminated at no cost and that Project NIA (www.project-nia.org) be acknowledged as producing this resource. We love hearing from folks about how they have used our resources so make sure to drop us a line
Black and Blue: Histories and Current Manifestations of Policing, Violence, and Resistance
Over the past couple of years, Project NIA has spearheaded the development and dissemination of several curriculum projects focused on youth criminalization and on exploring the roots of violence more generally. We have been excited to partner with such organizations as the Chicago Freedom School, Teachers for Social Justice, the Jane Addams Hull House Museum and the Chicago PIC Teaching Collective on some of these projects.
We have been approached and contacted by youth workers and organizers who are looking for more tools to discuss and address the issue of policing with young people in their communities. This issue is particularly pressing for those individuals who are working with young men of color in urban centers.
As part of our "Exploring the Roots of Violence Initiative," Project NIA is committed to making free and low cost curricula and resources available to educators, youth workers, and community organizers. We are well aware of the difficulty that grassroots organizations face in developing curriculum that will make an impact in addressing intransigent social problems. In the spirit of collaboration and with a focus on open source knowledge, we have developed a series of resources addressing policing and violence.
For many of the young people who we work with, the police symbolize fear rather than protection. The experience of being consistently harassed by local officers is deeply felt and can engender a great deal of anger. Much of that anger however is unexpressed and it is almost never analyzed or contextualized historically. Thus young people are left often feeling powerless in the face of aggressive policing in their communities. The police are our most readily accessible symbol of the state's power over our daily existence. Their role in our society, in our communities, and in our lives deserves to be examined.
So how do we as adults engage young people around the history of policing in the United States and the manifestations of police violence? We hope that these resources offer some ideas. As always, we greatly value your feedback. It helps us to improve our work and provide us with future ideas to pursue. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Bobby Mendes Peace Legacy
The Bobby Mendes Peace Legacy is an anti-violence initiative co-directed by Touchable Stories and Dorchester Massachusetts peace activist Isaura Mendes and is named in honor of her son who was killed in 1995. The program began in 1999 to help stem the tide of growing homicides in the Dorchester/Roxbury neighborhoods. Programming includes grief counseling for children and adults, roundtable dinners with community members and their elected officials, holiday celebrations for local children and The Annual Parent's and Children's Walk for Peace.
Business of Detention
The nation's largest private prison company has
partnered with the federal government to detain close
to 1 million undocumented people in the past 5 years
until they are deported. In the process, Corrections
Corporation of America has made record profits.
Critics suggest the CCA cuts corners on its detention
contracts in order to increase its revenue at expense
of humane conditions. Thanks to political connections
and lobby spending, it dominates the industry of
immigrant detention. CCA now has close to 10,000 new
beds under development in anticipation of continued
Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB)
A broad-based coalition of over 40 organizations seeking to lower prison spending by reducing the number of people in prison and the number of prisons in the state.
Campaign for Youth Justice
In the 1990s most states passed laws that made it easier to try, sentence, and incarcerate youth in the adult criminal system. Today an estimated 200,000 youth are prosecuted into the adult criminal justice system each year. Research shows that youth incarcerated in adult jails and prisons face an increased risk of being physically, mentally, and sexually assaulted or abused. Prosecuting kids as adults also increases the likelihood that they will stay involved in the criminal justice system. For information, research and how you can become involved visit their website.
The Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ)
CJCJ provides services to youth and adults across the country that are facing or transitioning from incarceration. CJCJs model programs demonstrate how alternatives to incarceration can be successful.
Changing Lives Through Literature
An incarceration alternative founded on the power
of literature to transform lives of people with
criminal convictions: http://dev.cltl.umassd.edu/Home-HTML.cfm
And, a blog devoted to criminal justice reform, alternatives to
incarceration, and the influence of literature on our
lives. The blog is called Changing Lives, Changing
and is updated twice a week.
Citizens Against Recidivism, Inc.
Stopping the revolving door . . . . Neither imprisonment or the life after should mean the loss of all the rights and attributes of citizenship.
Citizens for Prison Reform (MI)
Our Mission: To support, empower and unify prisoners' loved ones and concerned citizens to bring quality humane treatment for all that are incarcerated. To provide accurate information that will encourage education of our fellow citizens, communities and elected officials. Effective accountability will promote safer prisons, safer public and economical cost savings.
Coalition Against Institutionalized Child Abuse
CAICA is an informational and educational website that provides news articles, reports, etc.,regarding children and teens abused, neglected, and who have died in residential treatment settings.
The Coalition for Higher Education Act Reform (CHEAR)
In 1998, Congress enacted an amendment to the Higher Education Act that every year denies loans, grants, even work-study jobs to tens of thousands of would-be students with drug convictions. Since that time, a student-led campaign to overturn the law has spread to hundreds of campuses around the nation. The Coalition for Higher Education Act Reform (CHEAR) comprised of education, civil rights, religious, drug policy reform and other organizations campaigns for Congressional repeal of the law.
Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition
CCJRC is a coalition of individuals, organizations and faith communities that strives to reverse the excessive use of incarceration and halt the privatization of prisons in Colorado. CCJRC looks at ways to redirect funding to substance abuse and mental health treatment and develop alternatives to incarceration that will strengthen communities.
The Community Newsletter (Wisconsin)
We are a new publication devoted to fostering a productive, motivating sense of community among those interested in the prison system, especially Wisconsin's, and those sympathetic to the increasingly notorious need for smarter criminal justice policies.
The Council on Crime and Justice
The Council on Crime and Justice is an independent, non-profit organization integrating research, demonstration projects and advocacy to bring just solutions to the causes and consequences of crime.
Criminal Justice Debt: A Toolkit for Action
By Roopal Patel and Meghna Philip. Brennan Center for Justice. July 2012. Criminal justice debt is a huge problem for the overwhelmingly indigent population of the United States criminal justice system. States charge a number of fees at every stage of criminal processing: fees for public defenders, jail fees, prison fees, court administrative fees, prosecution fees, probation fees, parole fees, etc. When these fees are applied without considering if a person can actually pay them or not, it can create enormous costs for the individuals ensnared in the criminal justice system.
Many prisoners now serve multiple sentences because they cannot afford to pay. They often face another physical sentence, or as they struggle to make payments, they may suffer a host of collateral consequences that create barriers to re-entering society and raise the specter of re-imprisonment.
Criminal Justice Debt: A Toolkit for Action examines the myriad problems that criminal justice debt collection policies create for the individuals in the criminal justice system, the communities they reside in, and the states who attempt to make money off of them. The report also analyzes the impact these charges have had on the states that attempt to collect fees from people who cannot pay them. The authors propose areas that advocates can target for reform, and present action materials that advocates can use to build a successful campaign to fight for more just policies.
Critical Resistance seeks to build an international movement to end the Prison Industrial Complex. CRs work seeks to demonstrate how providing basic necessities such as food, shelter, and freedom makes our communities secure, not incarceration, prisons, and other forms of social control.
Cut Youth Incarceration
Cut Youth Incarceration provides information about youth incarcerated in the justice system, state efforts to reduce the incarceration of youth, and puts forward a platform for reform.
Detention Watch Network
The Detention Watch Network (DWN) is a national coalition of organizations and individuals working to educate the public and policy makers about the U.S. immigration detention and deportation system and advocate for humane reform so that all who come to our shores receive fair and humane treatment.
We believe that by working together we can effect greater change in the immigration detention system. Our members and supporters include organizations providing services to those in immigration detention and their families, and organizations and individuals advocating on behalf of those in immigration detention. We are lawyers, activists, social workers, national advocates, students, community organizers, faith communities, former detainees, and affected families from around the country.
End Crack and Powder Cocaine Sentencing Disparities
The Sentencing Project and its coalition partners,
the American Civil Liberties Union, Open Society Policy
Center and Drug Policy Alliance, are actively working to
advance crack cocaine sentencing reform in Congress.
Coalition members have launched a national campaign to
educate the public about the crack and powder cocaine
sentencing disparity. The goal is to encourage the
American public to make their voices heard in order to
tame the mandatory penalties. The 1986 and 1988
Anti-Drug Abuse Acts established excessive mandatory
penalties for crack cocaine that were the harshest ever
adopted for low-level drug offenses and created
drastically different penalty structures for crack
cocaine compared to powder cocaine, which are
pharmacologically identical substances. The law has
diverted precious resources away from prevention and
treatment for drug users and devastated communities
ripped apart by incarceration.
EPOCA: Ex-Prisoners and Prisoners Organizing for Community Advancement
Massachusetts. Ex-prisoners and current prisoners, along with allies, friends and family, working together to create resources and opportunities for those who have paid their debt to society.
The Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama
The Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama is a private, nonprofit organization that 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 prosecutorial misconduct. EJI works with communities that have been marginalized by poverty and discouraged by unequal treatment.
Equitable Telephone Charges Campaign
This excellent website is designed to help you advocate for changes in the prison phone system. Includes state by state information. Organizing and letter writing information.
FACTS: Families to Amend California's Three Strikes
Website for organizing information, legal information, personal stories.
Fair Chance Project (CA)
We are loved ones of long-term lifers, concerned community members, and Liberated Lifers intent on carrying out the fight to free thousands who have spent far too many years behind bars long after they accepted full responsibility for their crimes, long after they have been fully rehabilitated, long after they fulfilled all requirements to became eligible for parole. We are committed to building a future for all California residents beyond prisons. Our goal is to transform unjust sentencing laws and Parole policies while protecting the Human and Constitutional rights of those impacted by the prison system.
Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM)
FAMM is a national nonprofit organization that challenges mandatory sentencing laws. Mandatory minimums can propagate inflexible and excessive penalties. To change the system, FAMM promotes sentencing policies that give judges the discretion to sentence defendants according to their role in the offense, seriousness of the offense and potential for rehabilitation.
The Family Information Center
Here is where you can find resources and information for issues that can help your family, regardless of your circumstances or lifestyles. Has a family member been arrested? You can find tips for dealing with your frustrations or embarrassments, advice on dealing with the system and ways to maintain a strong family despite a prison sentence.
How do you "fight city hall" to protect your property? Don't like a law and want to know how to change it? Is the school discriminating against your child? Money is tight - how can you cope? Carl's Corner takes you back to times when we lived on less and offer tips for sustainable living.
The Family Information Center includes blogs, stories, educational material, tips and places where readers can interact with us and with each other.
Fight For Lifers West, Inc.
Fight For Lifers West, Inc. is dedicated to supporting people sentenced to life without parole and their loved ones, while striving to improve the criminal justice system and building positive community relationships.
FREE Family Survival Guide
FREE! is a grassroots collective of people impacted by the hardships resulting from a loved one's imprisonment. Our mission is to support, strengthen and empower impacted families through peer-to-peer support -"each one teach one," self-advocacy and self-development through trainings, public education and community dialogue, waging and supporting grassroots and policy campaigns (such as the NY Campaign for Telephone Justice) and creating and promoting media products that reflect the voices and experiences of those most impacted by a culture of mass incarceration.
This publication was written by family members of people who are incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people. This resource guide was created in the spirit of unity, and as a companion for understanding, navigating and healing. This guide is focused on NY but is a great model for other states.
Each chapter of the survival guide contains answers to common questions as well as personal stories from our members who have experienced what you are going through now or may come to face in the future. These personal stories and resources can help guide you in your decision-making and action processes. The Appendix contains a list of resources that members of FREE have engaged to continue this work.
Families Rally for Emancipation and Empowerment
PO Box 90, Syracuse, NY 13201
FREE! Families Rally for Emancipation and Empowerment
A NY women-led, grassroots collective of people
with incarcerated loved ones, empowering, and
mobilizing ourselves to create viable community
alternatives to, and impact public policy around the
destructive, profit-driven prison industry.
Grassroots Leadership focuses on organizing and direction action in the southern states. The website also contains useful research materials, including a comprehensive national study on the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA).
Harm Reduction Coalition (HRC)
The HRC reduces drug-related harm among individuals and their communities by promoting local, regional, and national harm reduction education and organizing. The HRC adopts alternative models to conventional approaches to drug treatment and provides resources, educational materials, and support to health professionals and drug users to reduce drug-related harm.
HEARD’s mission is to identify and remove barriers that prevent the deaf from participating in and having equal access to the justice system by enhancing the competence, capacity, and capability of justice professionals to manage language access and ability rights issues; and to empower the Deaf Community through education and advocacy. HEARD’s vision is to create a universally accessible American justice system that equitably serves individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing. HEARD facilitates collaboration among deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing individuals because HEARD views access to the justice system as a fundamental human right that we all should be working to make a reality.
The Human Rights Coalition
The Human Rights Coalition is a group of predominately prisoners' families, ex-prisoners and some supporters. Our ultimate goal is to abolish prisons. The prison system is based on a foundation of exploitation, punishment and corruption. Most of the people in prisons are poor, brown, urban, functionally illiterate, unemployed or under-employed before they were locked down, and are there for non-violent crimes. The prison system reflects all the other social inequalities in our system, and it does not work in its current incarnation.
Justice for Families
Justice for Families (J4) is a new national support, advocacy and organizing initiative of families of court involved and incarcerated youth that works to challenge the community disinvestment, zero tolerance school policies, and punitive laws that lead to the disparate lockup of youth of color. J4 is building a national bipartisan movement for justice reinvestment--the reallocation of government spending away from mass incarceration and toward investment in families.
Justice Mapping Center
Justice Mapping Center (JMC) specializes in using computer mapping - otherwise known as Geographic Information Systems or GIS - to better understand, evaluate, and communicate criminal
justice and other social policy information. Mapping studies are used by legislators, government agencies, research institutes, technical assistance providers, and the media. Explore the site to find out more and visit Project Gallery to view some of our recent studies.
Create your own maps using prison admissions, prison releases, parole, and probation data from 22 states!
Juvenile Injustice website
In late 2009, Mariame Kaba of Project NIA and Lisa Lee of the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum decided to partner on a project to create a series of zines about juvenile justice issues. The zine series was developed in conjunction with an exhibition called "Unfinished Business - Juvenile Justice," a community-curated show that links the founding of the nation's first juvenile court in 1899 with the pressing contemporary issues of juvenile justice and prison reform
Four juvenile justice zines were created by teaching artists, Rachel Marie-Crane Williams and Elgin-Bokari T. Smith; and youth at the Chicago Freedom School and the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center. The zines feature the voices of those affected by the criminal legal system and also tackle the issues that affect all of our communities: the
History of Juvenile Justice in Illinois,
Girls in the System,
Youth Stories (of the Incarcerated), and the
School-to-Prison Pipeline (links are to the actual PDFs).
Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana
To transform the juvenile justice system into one that builds on the strengths of young people, families and communities in order to instill hope and to ensure children are given the greatest opportunities to grow and thrive. Special Report! Treated Like Trash: Juvenile Detention in New Orleans Before, During, and After Hurricane Katrina
Minnesota Second Chance Coalition: Day on the Hill
On Feb. 22, 2010, at 10 a.m. in the State Capitol
Rotunda, hundreds of ex-offenders, their families and
supporters of justice reform will come together to
highlight the importance of second chances. This
effort is being lead by a consortium of nonprofit
leaders and justice system advocates. This consortium
is asking for support in raising statewide and
national attention that will increase awareness
regarding the barriers facing individuals with
criminal records. These barriers affect the social,
civic and economic stability of families and
The National Coalition to Free the Angola 3
The National Coalition to Free the Angola 3 was formed in 1998 to find justice for three innocent and wrongfully convicted men locked down at Angola, the Louisiana State Penitentiary, for nearly three decades.
National Prisoner Resource List
From the excellent PRISON BOOK PROGRAM, Quincy, MA.
The National Prisoner Resource List (NPRL) provides information about places where prisoners and their families can find support, advocacy, health care information, and outlets for their creativity. It offers a much-needed lifeline to the outside community. The NPRL also contains information about protecting oneself from HIV, which is spreading like wildfire in prisons. We often hear from people that a resource on the NPRL helped them get the services they needed or simply made them feel less hopeless because they found someplace to turn for support.
The NPRL is sent to prisoners upon request. There is no charge for it. It is also available below in a regular and large-print version for families and friends to print and mail to their loved ones. THIS LIST INCLUDES BOOKS THROUGH BARS PROJECTS AROUND THE COUNTRY. There are additional programs. Google "books to prisoners" for more.
The National Registry of Exonerations
The National Registry of Exonerations is a joint project of the University of the Michigan Law School and the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law. An up to date list of all known exonerations in the United States since 1989.
New Hampshire Prison Watch
The purpose of this website is to inform the citizens of New Hampshire about the looming possibility of prison privatization in the Granite State:
- With no direct vote by the legislature
- With little input by the community
- With almost no public discussion of pros and cons
New York State Parole Reform Campaign
A coalition of organizations and individuals who deal daily with the consequences of repeated parole denials based solely on the nature of the crime - which can never be changed. We are committed to reforms which require that parole applicants who have served their minimum sentences be evaluated on their readiness for reentry.
New York State Prisoner Justice Network
New York State Prisoner Justice Network - Connecting Regions, Issues, and Strategies - grew out of the New York State Prisoner Justice Conference held in Albany on March 27, 2010. The conference brought together under one roof a wide range of New York State organizations and individuals working on a diversity of prisoner justice issues to share ideas, information, energy, strategies, hope, and inspiration. 50+ organizations are part of the Network. The goal of the New York State Prisoner Justice Network is to build our individual and collective strength and to challenge and change New York's criminal injustice system.
The November Coalition
Website focusing on all aspects of the War on Drugs including links to resources and organizing.
The Other Death Penalty Project
A sentence of life without the possibility of parole is a death sentence. Worse, it is a long, slow, dissipating death sentence without any of the legal or administrative safeguards rightly awarded to those condemned to the traditional forms of execution. It exposes our society's concealed beliefs that redemption and personal transformation are not possible for all human beings, and that it is reasonable and just to forever define an individual by his worst act. Life without the possibility of parole is wrong and should be abolished.
The Other Death Penalty Project's immediate goals are to raise awareness of the basic unfairness of the life without parole sentence and to organize the tens of thousands of men and women serving "the other death penalty." The ultimate goal is to see the permanent end to the use of this form of state-sanctioned execution (along with all other forms), resulting in all life term prisoners having, at least, the possibility of parole.
The Other Death Penalty Project is led and comprised solely of prisoners serving life without the possibility of parole.
Our Prison Neighbors
The mission of Our Prison Neighbors is to recruit, support and expand the role of volunteers in Massachusetts prisons. We seek to deepen the understanding that we are all part of the same community. In addition, we seek to be a voice to all about the power of this work and the great need for it.
Partnership for Safety and Justice
The Oregon based Partnership for Safety & Justice
unites people convicted of crime, survivors of crime,
and the families of both to advance approaches that
redirect policies away from an over-reliance on
incarceration to effective strategies that reduce
violence and increase safety.
Penal Reform International (PRI)
PRI is an international non-governmental organisation. Founded in London, UK, in 1989, PRI has members in five continents and in over 80 countries. PRI develops programs on a regional basis, assisting both non-governmental organisations and individuals to establish projects in their own countries.
Pennsylvania Prison Directory Action
Pennsylvania Prison Directory Action has been published since 2004 with intention to provide resource to people incarcerated in Pennsylvania, their families and support networks, and organizations working with them. Starting in 2013, they have reorganized the guide into sections that can be downloaded, printed and mailed with one stamp - per section.
The Pennsylvania Prison Society
Founded in 1787, The Pennsylvania Prison Society is a social justice organization that advocates on behalf of prisoners, formerly incarcerated individuals and their families. Headquartered in Philadelphia, The Pennsylvania Prison Society operates through a network of statewide chapters.
People Against Injustice
People Against Injustice is a grassroots organization in New Haven that
works for reforms in the criminal justice system. Its members are a mixture
of people directly affected by the unjust penal system and other citizens
outraged by what is happening.
The Pretrial Working Group
The Pretrial Working Group (MA) advocates and organizes for pretrial alternatives to incarceration, an end to money bail and against the building of new jails.
The website includes both good (and not good) bills, who supports bills we support, the goals and recommendations of the PWG, news and information about bail, statewide and national news about jails and alternatives to incarceration, CJCP's calender of MA events related to working for more justice in the criminal justice system, links to allied organizations, relevant RSS feeds.
We will be updating the website about legislation we support, how you can participate and other news and information, so check back often.
Prison Health News
Prison Health News, founded in 2001, is a quarterly newsletter written by and for people who have been in prison or are currently living behind the walls. Spanning topics on medical updates, health care advocacy tips and mutual support, Prison Health News works to build community across the prison walls that divide us. Our readers are living inside a system that denies them prevention tools and treatment information about HIV, hepatitis, and other health issues. They are dealing with medical neglect, daily humiliations driven by intense stigma, and the destruction of their communities by mass imprisonment. After a few years break, Prison Health News is now up and running again, and is being produced by a Philadelphia-based collective of writers and editors, most of whom have been in prison and are living with HIV.
Prison Phone Justice website
This site deals with the issue of prison and jail phone calls, which typically cost much more than non-prison calls. Prison phone contracts are based on a "commission" model, where the phone service provider pays a commission (kickback) to the contracting government agency, such as a state prison system or county jail. These kickbacks inflate the costs of prison and jail phone calls, which in the vast majority of cases are paid not by prisoners but by their family members. This website includes detailed information on state-by-state prison phone rates and commission data, as well as reports, articles and other resources related to prison phone services and the prison phone industry.
Prison Policy Initiative Democracy Toolkit
A set of online tools designed to help rural
citizens determine if prison populations in legislative
districts are diluting their right to equal
representation. Despite the fact that people in prison
remain legal residents of the place they lived prior to
their incarceration, the Census Bureau counts people in
prison as if they were willing residents of the prison
The toolkit offers step-by-step instructions to help
residents of rural communities with prisons determine
whether including prisoners in the population base harms
their access to government, to quantify that harm, and to
advocate for a better democracy. The toolkit includes the
Correctional Facility Locator, which provides a simple
interface to locate prison populations in the Census. The
toolkit is designed to analyze county legislatures, but
can also be used for other forms of district-based
government at the regional, county and local level,
including city councils and school boards.
Prison Radio's mission is to challenge mass
incarceration and racism by airing the voices of men
and women in prison by bringing their voices into the
public dialogue on crime and punishment. Our
educational materials serve as a catalyst for public
activism. Prison Radio's productions illustrate the
perspectives and the intrinsic human worth of the
more than 7.1 million people under correctional
control in the U.S.
The Prison Scholar Fund
Incarcerated Students: If you are serious about pursuing a college degree from behind the prison walls but don't have the finances for today's ever-rising cost of tuition and books, you may be able to win scholarship assistance from the Prison Scholar fund.
Due to the competitive nature of the application process, we will only send applications to individuals who include a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) with their application request. Send application request with SASE to: The Prison Scholar Fund, 23517 Orville Road East, Orting, WA 98360
Applications can also be found online at the address below. Dirk Van Velzen, President and Executive Director
For an article about the Prison Scholar Fund go to: http://www.cityonahillpress.com/article.php?id=1486
The Prison Studies Project
The Prison Studies Project is compiling the first nationwide directory of postsecondary programs in U.S. prisons. Searchable and continually updated, the directory is an online, state-by-state listing of primarily on-site degree-granting postsecondary education programs in prisons.
The Internet site Prisonersolidarity.org serves as a catalyst for communication
between prisoners and people on "the outside." It publishes updated research,
news, opinion pieces and educational material from activists, writers, prisoners,
and the concerned public. Prisonersolidarity grew out of the Youngstown
Prison Forum (Youngstown is home to Ohio's death row and one of the
highest prison concentrations of any urban center), led by the long-time
social justice activists Staughton and Alice Lynd.
The Private Corrections Institute
A not-for-profit corporation, educate the publics, media, and elected officials about the dangers of for-profit private prisons, jails and detention centers.
Questionnaire to be completed by persons alleging
torture or their representatives
Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Information on the torture of a person should be transmitted to the Special Rapporteur in written form and sent to:
Special Rapporteur on Torture, c/o Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Go to this link for more:
Re-Examining the Lucasville Uprising Conference
Columbus OH. April 19-21, 2012. A group of lawyers, prisoner advocates, family members and supporters will be presenting a weekend conference re-examining the history of Ohio's most notorious prison uprising, the eleven day occupation of L-Block in the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility at Lucasville in 1993.
The conference will present a comprehensive examination of the facts, stories and legal proceedings from the uprising. We are also interested in exploring the context in which the uprising occurred and the consequences for the people of Ohio. To this end, we are seeking workshops, presentations, participation from the broader community. We'd like you to help us explore relevant issues such as the prison industrial complex, mass incarceration, prison conditions, death penalty, solitary confinement, and super-max prisons. Each of these topics is intimately present in the story of Lucasville, and we hope you or your organization can help us provide conference attendees with a broader understanding of how Lucasville relates to so many issues that impact all of our lives.
Resource Information Help for the Disadvantaged
A Virginia-based non-profit organization assisting uplifting and empowering those who are at a disadvantage and disenfranchised (Inmates - ExOffenders - At Risk Youth- Their Families and Communities in Despair with rehabilitation and "Earned" Second Chance).
Restoration Project, Florence, AZ
Honor the dignity of every human being through writing and visiting those being detained in immigration detention centers in Florence and Eloy, Arizona, we seek to nurture compassion and foster human connection. Serve as active witnesses through being a peaceful presence in the midst of detention facilities and the town of Florence we seek to listen to and validate the experiences of those in detention. Raise consciousness. Create sanctuary. Build a network of mutual support
Restore Meritorious Good Time in Illinois: Reduce Prison Overcrowing in Illinois
For more than 30 years, Republican and Democratic administrations in Illinois used Meritorious Good Time (MGT) without controversy to promote a safe prison system by awarding up to 180 days off inmates' sentences for good behavior. This is a universally accepted correctional tool, and Illinois law excludes inmates serving time for violent crimes from receiving any MGT credits.
In 2010, however, Governor Pat Quinn suspended MGT after it was used to release some inmates before they spent significant time in the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC). This has since been remedied, as Illinois law now requires inmates to serve at least 60 days in prison before they can receive any good time credit.
Since MGT was suspended, Illinois has added 4,000 inmates to its total population, going from 45,000 to 49,000, a record high. While every prison struggles with its population, medium and
minimum-security facilities, which mostly house low-level, non-violent offenders, face the most severe crowding, leaving IDOC's staff and administration no choice but to pack inmates into unsuitable and often unsanitary places. These conditions frustrate rehabilitation efforts, exhaust limited resources, and create a dangerous environment for inmates to live and staff to work.
Resurrection After Exoneration
(RAE) was founded in 2007 by exonerees to promote
and sustain a network of support among wrongfully
incarcerated individuals in the South. RAE works to
reconnect exonerees to their communities and provide
access to those opportunities of which they were
robbed. RAE is an offspring of the non-profit law
office, Innocence Project New Orleans (IPNO)
The Right to Vote
The Right to Vote campaign has just launched its new website on felony disenfranchisement. Right to Vote is a national collaboration of eight leading civil rights and civil liberties organizations dedicated to removing barriers to voting for citizens with felony convictions. The new website is a source of information, advocacy, and technical assistance for communities engaged in reform work in this area.
Russell "Maroon" Shoats
Russell "Maroon" Shoats has been kept in solitary confinement in the state of Pennsylvania for 30 years after being elected president of the prison-approved Lifers' Association. He was initially convicted for his alleged role in an attack authorities claim was carried out by militant black activists on the Fairmont Park Police Station in Philadelphia that left a park sergeant dead. Despite not having violated prison rules in more than two decades, state prison officials refuse to release him into the general prison population.
S.T.A.M.P. Southern Tier Advocacy and Mitigation Project, Incorporated
Seeks to empower community control over delinquency and crime, reduce over-reliance on incarceration, and assist those formerly incarcerated with the tools they need to re-integrate into society.
The SAVE Coalition
The SAVE Coalition is a group of organizations and individuals dedicated to
protecting the U.S. prison and jail population - a group that is increasingly
vulnerable to violence and abuse since the 1996 enactment of the Prison
Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). Members of the SAVE Coalition have studied
the impact of the PLRA and developed proposed reforms to the law that do not
interfere with its stated purpose: to reduce frivolous litigation by
prisoners. The SAVE Coalition's proposed reforms seek to preserve the rule
of law in America's jails and prisons and better protect prisoners from
rape, assault, denials of religious freedom, and other constitutional
violations by fixing the unintended consequences of the PLRA.
Save the Kids
Save the Kids (STK) began in the Summer of 2009 out of Outdoor Empowerment (OE) a nonprofit established in 2005. Save the Kids National was established in August 2011.Save the Kids National is a fully-volunteer organization without a nonprofit government status.
This organization does not claim to have all the answers, or are outsiders coming in to "save" anyone, but we are individuals who have and had members of our family incarcerated in youth detention facilities and adult prisons and jails. We are made up of formerly incarcerated youth and adults, judges, lawyers, probation officers, detention staff and administration, youth advocates, educators, and mentors.
Save the Kids (STK) is a grass-roots fully-volunteer organization that is grounded in the values of Hip Hop activism and transformative justice, which advocates for alternatives to, and the end of, incarceration of all youth.
This website is dedicated to examining the practice of solitary confinement in its various forms. It is designed to accompany the Sourcebook on Solitary Confinement
and expand on issues discussed therein. The Sourcebook on Solitary Confinement
is a comprehensive single point of reference on solitary confinement examining its documented health effects, and professional, ethical and human rights guidelines and codes of practice relating to its use. Resources and links include a selection of human rights and professional resources and links.
With the exception of the death penalty, solitary confinement is the most extreme sanction which may be legally imposed on prisoners. Its adverse effects on the health and wellbeing of those subjected to it, particularly for prolonged periods, can be very serious. Yet, in recent years there has been an increase in the use of strict, and often prolonged, solitary confinement in prisons and other places of detention across the world. This is a worrying development with potentially harmful consequences, not only for the individual concerned but also for the wider communities to which they will eventually return.
Solitary Watch is a public website aimed at bringing the widespread use of solitary confinement and other forms of torture in U.S. prisons out of the shadows and into the light of the public square. A unique collaboration between journalists and law students, Solitary Watch's mission is to provide the public--as well as practicing attorneys, legal scholars, law enforcement and corrections officers, policymakers, educators, advocates, and prisoners--with the first centralized, comprehensive source of information on solitary confinement in the United States.
Solitary Watch has prints in a four-page newsletter format with selected articles from the previous three months.
The print edition is available to download as a PDF. Hard copies are available to prisoners and their families and advocates and to non-profit organizations. To request (single or multiple) copies, please email email@example.com or write to Solitary Watch, PO Box 11374, Washington, DC 20008.
Southern Rural Development Initiative (SRDI)
SRDI is a collaborative project of community-based institutions working in the poorest communities of the rural South. SRDI examines alternative community development strategies, including redirecting resources to support local development and asset-building among poor communities.
Stop Solitary - Advocacy Campaign Tools
ACLU. Website includes: Stop Solitary - Quick Facts, Stop Solitary Briefing Paper, Getting Started - Collecting Corrections and Other Data in Your State, Campaign Dos and Don'ts, Model Social Networking Language, Model Stop Solitary Legislation, Model Fiscal Analysis Memo
Checklist for a Visit to a Supermax Facility, State-Specific Resources, Litigation Resources, Articles and Other Resources
Ending solitary confinement and related forms of torture. National STOPMAX Conference, May 30 - June 1, 2008, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA. What Is Solitary Confinement? Solitary confinement of prisoners exists under a range of names; isolation, control units, supermax prisons, the hole, SHUs, administrative segregation, maximum security or permanent lockdown. Prisoners can be placed in these units for many reasons; as punishment, while they are under investigation, as a mechanism for behavior modification, when suspected of gang involvement, as retribution for political activism or to fill expensive, empty beds, to name but a few. Although conditions vary from state to state and in different institutions, systematic policies and conditions of control and oppression used in isolation and segregation include:
- confinement behind a solid steel door for 23 hours a day
- limited contact with other human beings
- infrequent phone calls and rare non-contact family visits
- extremely limited access to rehabilitative or educational programming
- grossly inadequate medical and mental health treatment
- restricted reading material and personal property
- physical torture such as hog-tying, restraint chairs, and forced cell extraction
- mental torture such as sensory deprivation, permanent bright lighting, extreme temperatures, and forced insomnia
- sexual intimidation and violence
An informational and educational Website about Supermax and Maximum Security Prisons
Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP)
SSDP is a youth-oriented non-profit organization that seeks to reduce the harms caused by drug abuse and drug policies. SSDP neither encourages nor condemns drug use, but strives to involve youth in the political process and to promote an open discussion of alternative solutions to drug problems.
The Tamms Year Ten Campaign
In 1998, the first prisoners were transferred from
prisons across the state to Tamms CMAX, in Southern
Illinois. This new "supermax" prison, designed to keep
men in permanent solitary confinement, was intended for
short-term incarceration. The IDOC called it a one-year
"shock treatment." Now, ten years later, over one-third
of the original prisoners have been there for a decade.
They have lived in long-term isolation-no phone calls,
no communal activity, no contact visits. They only
leave the cell to exercise alone in a concrete box 2 to
5 times per week. They are fed through a slot in the
door. Tamms Year Ten is a coalition of prisoners,
ex-prisoners, families, artists and other concerned
citizens who have come together to protest the
misguided and inhumane policies at Tamms C-MAX, and to
call for an end to psychological torture.
Texas Criminal Justice Coalition
New interesting website with research, organizing
related to Texas and the U.S. TCJC is committed to
identifying and working towards real solutions to the
problems facing Texas' criminal justice system. We do
this by identifying and educating supporters using
cost-effective and innovative tools, partnering with
organizations who share our core beliefs, and promoting
evidence-based criminal justice solutions that embody
the principles of effective management, accountability,
public safety, and human and civil rights.
The International Conference on Penal Abolition
The International Conference on Penal Abolition (ICOPA) is a bi-annual gathering of activists, academics, journalists, practitioners, people currently or formerly imprisoned, survivors of state and personal harm, and others from across the world who are working towards the abolition of imprisonment, the penal system, carceral controls and the prison industrial complex.
Think Outside the Box - Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement in New York's Prisons and Jails
The goal of the Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement (CAIC) is sweeping reform of New York’s use of solitary confinement and other forms of extreme isolation in state prisons and local jails. Isolated confinement involves confining people in a cell for 22 to 24 hours a day without meaningful human contact, programming, or therapy. This practice is ineffective, counterproductive, unsafe, and inhumane, and it causes people detained in these conditions to deteriorate psychologically, physically, and socially. Despite these facts, New York utilizes isolated confinement at rates well above the national average.
Thousand Kites is a community-based performance, web, video and radio project centered on the United States prison system.
Tiyo Attallah Salah-El: Papers, 1890-2006
University of Massachusetts, WEB DuBois Library, Special Collections. 15 boxes (7.5 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 590. Abstract: While serving a
life sentence in a Pennsylvania prison, Tiyo Attallah
Salah-El transformed himself into an activist,
scholar, and advocate for the abolition of prisons.
An accomplished jazz musician, Salah-El has
distinguished himself for educational and scholarly
work, his musical career, his close relationship with
activists and educators, and for the non-profit
organization he founded, The Coalition for the
Abolition of Prisons (CAP). The Papers of Tiyo
Attallah Salah-El document his experience in the
State Correctional Institution in Dallas,
Pennsylvania from 1977 to the present, providing
information on his education, teaching, and activism.
The bulk of the collection consists of his extensive
correspondence with educators, musicians, and
activists. Other highlights include a manuscript copy
of his autobiography and the founding documents of
the The Coalition for the Abolition of Prisons. The
collection is open for research.
TRGGR Radio and TRGGR Media Group is a meeting ground of grassroots hip hop culture, music and politics. Instead of its common association with guns and violence, we use the term to connote the sparking of ideas, the TRGGRing of new ways of thought, new ways of being, different and courageous ways of seeing ourselves and our role in society and in the world.
Unchaining Civil Rights
A new website from The Center for Community Alternatives/Justice Strategies in collaboration with the Legal Action Center/National H.I.R.E. Network.
The website is intended to share information and encourage discussion about the ways that criminal records are now used as a surrogate for race-based discrimination in education, employment, enfranchisement and equality. The barriers faced by people with criminal records undermine the gains in equal opportunity that were achieved by the Civil Rights movement.
The Unchaining Civil Rights website includes policy papers on issues related to the erosion of civil rights that are due to the collateral consequences of a criminal conviction.
Uncover the Truth Behind ICE and Police Collaboration TOOLKIT
By the Uncover the Truth campaign (May 2010).
Uncover the Truth's toolkit is designed to help local advocates find out whether their local police department is collaborating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, research the nature of
the program, develop contacts in the criminal justice field, find allies, dispels common rumors, and it includes questions to ask local police and politicians as well.
Blog by James Ridgeway includes commentary about
prisons, aging, health care and politics. "Information
and commentary on the politics of aging for
pissed-off progressive old folks (and future old
folks). . . because we're not dead yet." Born in
1936, James Ridgeway has been reporting on politics
for more than 45 years. He is currently Senior
Washington Correspondent for Mother Jones, and
recently wrote a blog on the 2008 presidential
election for the Guardian online. He previously
served as Washington Correspondent for the Village
Voice; wrote for Ramparts and The New Republic; and
founded and edited two independent newsletters, Hard
Times and The Elements.
Ridgeway is the author of 16 books, including The Five
Unanswered Questions About 9/11, It's All for Sale: The
Control of Global Resources, and Blood in the Face: The
Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nations, Nazi Skinheads, and the
Rise of a New White Culture. He co-directed a companion
film to Blood in the Face and a second documentary
film, Feed, and has co-produced web videos for
Additional information and samples of James Ridgeway's
work can be found on his web site, http://jamesridgeway.net.
Voting While Incarcerated: A Toolkit for Voting Rights Advocates
The Sentencing Project and the ACLU released this report in September 2005, detailing efforts to maintain and restore voting rights for the currently incarcerated.
The Voices.Con newsletter is published monthly by term-to-life prisoners in California focusing on issues of primary concern to those servicing a long-term incarceration. All material contained within Voices.Con has been provided exclusively by California's term-to-life prisoner population. The information has been designed to also be of potential benefit in other jurisdictions having term-to-life and long-term prisoners as well as citizens or family members.
Rachel Marie-Crane Williams
Links to her great work:
Blue and Black: Stories of Policing and Violence,
A Graphic History of Juvenile Justice in Illinois,
School to Prison Pipeline,
and two others.
Wisconsin Prisoner Voice
Publishes stories that have been forwarded to
them by prisoners in Wisconsin, so that the general
public can read what is really being done with their
tax money. Showing that Human Rights are not at all
common in the USA.
The Words Beyond Bars Project
The Words Beyond Bars Project is an innovative and simple idea that grew from a concern that educational programming is in strong demand in correctional facilities, but there are never enough opportunities to learn. In late 2011, the idea began to solidify of empowering the participants in a prison book discussion group, one small group of 12 at a time… to increase thinking skills, socialization skills, remove racial barriers and learn together in a way that could be transferred and replicated in the outside community after release. A former librarian with experience leading book groups in public libraries imagined a community of incarcerated readers engaging in civil discourse about literature. Structuring the program and promoting it became a labor of love. Geared to enhance prison education programs such as GED certification classes, which are often too basic and limited for those who long for intellectual challenge and an opportunity to explore and reflect on their lives through reading, the book discussion is a good fit for reluctant readers or high-level learners. Motivating readers through group interaction builds literacy skills and confidence.
X-Offenders for Community Empowerment
X-Offenders for Community Empowerment (XCE) is a crime prevention organization with the mission of halting gun violence by stopping the proliferation of illegal guns in our communities. Since the year 2000, our organization has advocated for stopping the flow of illegal guns through increased owner responsibility. In this effort, XCE has conducted grassroots community education campaigns in the form of annual Anti-Illegal Gun Rallies. Goals include reducing recidivism, Ban the Box, voter registration and education, stopping illegal guns, and Pardon Me Clinics. We encourage individuals, families and organization join us.
Y.P.A.C.T. Leadership Deveopment Program
The Youth for Prevention, Action and Change through Thought program in Dorchester, MA.
This site contains a rich collection of resources on the criminal justice system, including a historical timeline, stories, theoretical background, and interactive modules (for example, the "Are You a Criminal?" on-line quiz). A "one of a kind" website.
Advocacy Toolkits to Combat Legal Barriers Facing Individuals with Criminal Records
People with criminal records face a daunting array of counterproductive, debilitating legal barriers that make it much more difficult for them to succeed in almost every important aspect of life.In order to help advocates eliminate these unfair roadblocks, the Legal Action Center has developed advocacy kits on 12 critically important policy, funding and legal issues that can be used to remove nearly all of the most harmful roadblocks to re-entry.
CAPPS: The Citizens Alliance on Prisons and Public Spending
Based in Michigan, CAPPS is a non-profit public policy organization concerned about the social and economic costs of prison expansion. Because policy choices, not crime rates, have caused our prison population to explode, CAPPS advocates re-examining those policies and shifting our resources to public services that prevent crime, rehabilitate offenders, and address the needs of all our citizens in a cost-effective manner.
The Center for Court Innovation
Founded as a public/private partnership between the New York State Unified Court System and the Fund for the City of New York, the Center for Court Innovation helps the justice system aid victims, reduce crime, strengthen neighborhoods, and improve public trust in justice. The Center combines action and reflection to spark innovation locally, nationally, and internationally.
College and Community Fellowship
College and Community Fellowship (CCF) is unique among organizations aimed at helping people reclaim their lives after criminal conviction. Many programs try to address the basic needs of people returning to the community after conviction and prison, but only CCF guides them through the stages of higher education while promoting their leadership, self-advocacy, artistic expression, civic participation and long term economic security. We see beyond reentry. We see limitless possibilities for our participants, their families and their communities. We expect what others deem impossible and the results are incredible!
Common Sense for Drug Policy
A news and information source which focuses on the war on drugs, drug laws, legalization, and current developments in drug policy. The website provides many useful links to organizations, information resources, and timely news stories.
The Correctional Association of New York
The Correctional Association of New York is a criminal justice policy and advocacy organization that works to create a more balanced, efficient, and humane criminal justice system. Currently, the Association is undertaking four core projects: the Public Policy Project, the Women in Prison Project, the Prison Visiting Project and the Juvenile Justice Project.
Corrections Statistics by State
This interactive Web application provides state-level corrections statistics and charts showing national rankings. The site provides detailed statistics covering crime, population, incarceration, and community corrections. See how your state compares to other states and the national average.
Criminal Justice Policy Coalition (CJPC)
A member-based organization dedicated to the advancement of effective, just, and humane criminal justice policy in Massachusetts. CJPC seeks to expand the public discourse on criminal justice, promote dialogue and cooperation among diverse stakeholders, and build support for policies that better protect our communities.
Demos is an organization committed to redesigning policy and politics to build democratic participation and to achieve a broadly shared prosperity characterized by greater opportunity and less disparity. Demos has conducted policy-relevant research into the disenfranchisement of individuals with felony convictions.
The Drug Policy Alliance
The Drug Policy Alliance works to end the war on drugs and promote realistic alternatives. The guiding principle of the Alliance is harm reduction, an alternative approach to drug policy and treatment that focuses on minimizing the adverse effects of both drug use and drug prohibition.
The Georgia Network of Reentry Advocates
The Georgia Network of Reentry Advocates website serves as a clearinghouse of information regarding advocacy, up-to-date research and statistics, available funding sources, and upcoming events. This website also serves as a referral source for individuals in need of reentry services. Community Voices in collaboration with several partner organizations aims to educate, organize advocacy, promote policy reform, vet ideas and cultivate consensus through this central locus.
Good Jobs First (GJF)
GJF provides information to the public, the media, public officials and economic development professionals on state and local job subsidies. GJF for creating seeks to ensure that subsidized businesses are held accountable decent jobs. GJF also works on prison financing issues. Publications include: JailBreaks: Economic Development Subsidies Given to Private Prisons (2001) by Phil Mattera and Mafruza Kan.
Human Rights Watch Prison Project
Working in conjunction with numerous local partners, Human Rights Watch monitors conditions of detention around the world, pressuring governments to bring their treatment of prisoners into compliance with basic human rights standards.
Informational Resources on the Second Chance Act of 2005
The Second Chance Act of 2005 is federal re-entry legislation designed to ensure the safe and successful return of prisoners to the community. The bill has been introduced in both the U.S. House (April 2005) and Senate (October 2005), and enjoys broad bipartisan support, including sponsorship by leaders in both chambers. In addition, the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security held a hearing on the Second Chance Act in early November, in which three Membersincluding Subcommittee Chairman Howard Noble (R-NC)called for fast tracking the bill. [Note, the original link here was a dud, so I changed it to the organization's main page.]
It's Time For Our Nation To Be Smart on Crime
Smart on Crime: Recommendations for the Administration and Congress provides the 112th Congress and the Obama administration with analysis of the problems plaguing our state and federal criminal justice systems and a series of recommendations to address these failures. The report examines the entire criminal justice system, from the creation of new criminal laws to ex-offenders' reentry into communities after serving their sentences. Our comprehensive recommendations range from helping to restore and empower victims to identifying ways to protect the rights of the accused.
The Journal of Prisoners and Prisoners
Provides prisoners and former prisoners with a platform to write and speak about their experiences relating to carceral institutions and criminal 'justice.' Inform penal policies and practices by producing discourse that competes with incomplete, popular, & conventional definitions and constructions of prisoners and methods of social control. Facilitates discourse amongst prisoners, students, academics, workers in the system, and the general public.
The Justice Policy Institute
JPI is a Washington DC-based think-tank that is committed to reducing societys reliance on incarceration. The policy work of JPI aims to advance the quality and content of public discourse in the ongoing debate around juvenile and criminal justice system reform.
The Eastern States Conference of the Council of
State Governments has established a new Justice Center.
This program works to help legislators make decisions on
prison cost reductions, increasing public safety and
improving neighborhood conditions where many released
inmates reside. Justice Reinvestment is currently
working with the states of Connecticut, Arizona, Kansas,
Rhode Island and Texas.
Justice Strategies is a nonprofit research organization dedicated to providing analysis and solutions to advocates and policymakers pursuing more humane and cost-effective approaches to criminal justice and immigration reform.
Justice Strategies was launched in 2003 to alter the laws, policies and practices that drive mass incarceration and racial disparity in the U.S. criminal justice and immigration systems. A project of the Tides Center, Inc., Justice Strategies conducts research on sentencing and correctional policy, the political economy of incarceration, and the detention and imprisonment of immigrants. In addition to policy expertise, Justice Strategies offers expert advice in campaign development, and grassroots organizing.
This news site covers developments in juvenile justice, hosts a forum for exploring ideas on how to reform the system, and serves as a resource for anyone interested in or curious about the subject.
The Legal Action Center Criminal Justice Program
An advocacy, research, and policy organization that works to improve the criminal justice system by assisting individuals with criminal records, engaging with current criminal justice policies, providing training to service providers and government agencies, and collecting and disseminating information on barriers people with criminal records face in terms of reentry.
Methadone in Jails and Prisons
This is a gathering location for any and all
material on the advancement of Methadone maintenance in
jails and prisons. Including, but not limited to:
Personal histories and stories, links to news articles,
deaths, suicides, state information, tapering,
maintenance, police departments, clinic support,
Buprenorphine treatment, inmates coming in with opiate
addiction offered methadone, other forms of medically
assisted treatment. FOR INFORMATION ON MMF METHADONE
MAINTENANCE FRIENDLY, Please send me your articles or
other information for this blog at: Varnua@aol.com.
Models for Change
The new modelsforchange.net
website offers up-to-date information about key
accomplishments in the field. It also shares recent
developments from Models for Change, a national
comprehensive, multi-state juvenile justice systems
reform initiative. The website includes:
• new research and data, easily searchable in a comprehensive publications section
• major policy and legislative developments
• examples of reform success
• highlights from the field
The National Juvenile Defender Center
The site provides descriptions of services and other work, announcements about latest projects, access to publications, and summaries of juvenile justice-related data for every state; it also allows visitors to join their mailing list, subscribe to their listservs, or request information about arranging a training session.
National Juvenile Justice Network
The National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) exists to support and enhance the work of state-based groups to promote the reform of America's critically flawed juvenile justice system at every level.
Through education, community-building and leadership development, NJJN enhances the capacity of juvenile justice coalitions and organizations in 36 states to press for state and federal laws, policies and practices that are fair, equitable and developmentally appropriate for all children, youth and families involved in, or at risk of becoming involved in, the justice system.
One Nation Pulling Apart Project (Penn State University)
This research program provides new understanding of the manifestation, meaning, and causes of enduring economic distress. This project combines statistical analysis with policy evaluation and historical assessment of previous policy efforts.
Open Doors Rhode Island (formerly The Family Life Center)
Open Doors Rhode Island, of Providence, RI, helps
ex-offenders and their families by providing long-term
holistic case management services starting prior to
release from prison and extending for two months
afterwards. The Open Doors Resource Center is available for all
previously incarcerated individuals and their families.
In addition to supporting individual families and
ex-offenders, Open Doors advocates on behalf
of communities affected by crime and incarceration. Open Doors ran the successful Rhode Island Right
to Vote Campaign. In November 2006 RI became the first
state in our nation's history to restore voting rights
to formerly incarcerated individuals through public
Open Society Institute Links to Papers and Publications on Prison and Criminal Justice Issues
Maintained by the Open Society Institute U.S. Justice Fund. This site provides links to a wide range of policy papers, research studies, and publications dealing with the U.S. criminal justice system, incarceration, and the social costs of current policies.
Orange Co. California Post-Incarceration Re-Entry Online Resource Guide
There are resources available to help and support formerly incarcerated individuals and their families during the transition from custody to community, but navigating the systems of services can be overwhelming. 2-1-1 Orange County has partnered together with the Orange County Re-Entry Partnership, the Returning Home Foundation, and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department to improve access to re-entry resources in Orange County.
Prison Activist Resource Center (PARC)
PARC provides information and programs for educators, activists, prisoners, and prisoners' families. Its outreach efforts aim to build networks for action. The PARC website also lists many useful sources of information.
Prison Legal News (PLN)
Prison Legal News is an independent monthly publication that reports, reviews and analyzes court rulings and news related to prisoner rights and prison issues. PLN has a U.S. focus with some international coverage as well. The website provides access to PLN articles, sells relevant books, and distributes information about related resources.
The PLN website has all back issue content of the magazine, plus thousands of articles and summaries more. In addition our publications library has over 5200 documents on all aspects of prisons, jails and detention facilities and our brief bank has over 6900 documents in it, from pleadings, complaints, settlements, appeals, etc. except for the brief bank and verdict and settlement data all content is free.
The Prison Public Memory Project
A new initiative focused on making prison history relevant as a guide to the future, today launched a website and blog featuring its work in Hudson, New York, a small town that is home to an historic prison and the site of the Project's pilot effort.
The Prison Rape Elimination Act
The Prison Rape Elimination Act website offers an extensive library of information about the Department of Justice's national PREA standards and the law, research on sexual abuse in confinement and evaluation of practices and procedures, and guides and handbooks to aid in policy development and implementation. The Training and Technical Assistance section of the website provides detailed information about PRC's four strategies for assisting the field with PREA implementation. Website visitors can learn about trainings supported by the PRC, read about PREA implementation going on around the country in the "PREA in Action" series, and request assistance directly from the PRC.
"Prison Terminal" directed by Edgar Barens will be
completed in a 2010. The website has a great deal of
interesting information. "Prison Terminal" is about a
prisoner run prison hospice out of the Iowa State
Penitentiary. You can check out the 6 minute trailer
for Prison Terminal by going to the main page at:
Prisoners of the Census
In 48 states prisoners cannot vote, but the U.S. Census Department Census counts the nations mostly urban prisoners as residents of the mostly rural towns that host prisons. This website documents how, as a result, resources move away from urban areas to rural prison towns and how state legislative boundaries are redrawn and political power redistributed.
Prisonsucks.com is a clearinghouse for useful, reliable statistics about prisons, the criminal justice system, and the crime control industry. The site provides factsheets, descriptions of information sources, and links to research organizations.
A resource for public officials, journalists, researchers and others who are interested in the process of government borrowing to finance public infrastructure such as prisons and schools. Our aim is to demystify the bond process and encourage greater public scrutiny and participation.
Race and Justice Clearinghouse
From The Sentencing Project. A resource for information, analysis, and commentary on race and ethnicity as they interact with the criminal justice and juvenile justice systems.
The Racial Disparity Initiative
The goals of the project are to make visible the often invisible discriminatory practices of denying employment to individuals with criminal records, to reduce the class and race based stigma of criminality and to challenge the popular media discourse that demonizes individuals with criminal records and individuals making the transition from prison to civil society. This project aims to challenge the belief that employing individuals with criminal records is a public safety risk.
The Real Price of Prisons site
From Mother Jones magazine. This site contains state incarceration profiles, including graphs and statistics on prisons vs. education spending, racial inequalities in incarceration, incarceration rates for drug crimes, and per capital spending (last updated July 2001).
The first ever clearinghouse of practical advocate resources on the civil consequences of criminal proceedings.
Regaining the Right to Vote
U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division website.
(Note: some links are directly to DOCs. Some have specific voting information.)
Following a criminal conviction, some states
automatically restore a person's eligibility to
register and vote in elections. Others require the
individual to complete an additional process. Because
each state or territory is different in its
requirements and procedures, the best source of
reliable information is the appropriate agency or
office for the state in which you are interested.
Web sites are listed for each state or territory.
Where a state has posted specific information regarding
the process by which individual can have his or her
rights restored, the link is to that information. If
not, we have provided the link to more general voter
registration information for the state. These web site
addresses are current as of May 1, 2009.
The Resource Directory for Prisoners
This extensive list includes many spiritual resources
(Buddhist, Christian, Native American Indian, Hindu,
etc.) as well as legal support, book to prisoner
resources, creative writing/artistic newsletters,
re-entry resources and distance learning. To receive the
list by mail, send 4 first class stamps. The list can be
downloaded for free at the link below, or contact Naljor
Prison Dharma Service, PO Box 3990, Santa Barbara CA
The Sentencing Project
The Sentencing Project is one of the nations leading organizations that develops alternative sentencing programs, conducts policy research on U.S. criminal justice, and advocates for creating meaningful reforms.
Texas Prison Bid'ness
Federal officials denying a human rights expert access
to a controversial prison that's holding children... a
former state legislator roaming the capitol lobbying for
private prison companies... scandals that deal harsh
penalties for workers while a corporation continues
business as usual... it's all part of private prison
business in Texas -- that's why you'll see it on Texas
The Urban Institute
The Urban Institutes Justice Policy Center carries out research to inform and shape the national dialogue on crime, justice, and community safety.
Voting Rights Act 40th Anniversary
NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund's special website commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act contains a wealth of information.
Watching Justice's mission is to keep a vigilant and long-term eye on Americans' fundamental rights and liberties by providing a forum for analysis, praise, and criticism of the Department of Justice (DOJ). Watching Justice also monitors those offices in the Department of Homeland Security that were previously based in the DOJ.
Welcome Home: A Service Guide for Reentrants and Their Families
Harlem Community Justice Center, NY. 12-08. Upper Manhattan Reentry Task Force.
World Prison Population List (5th edition)
Click on this link to download the pdf file of the 5th edition of the World Prison Population List, published by the Home Office in Britain. The World Prison Population List gives details of the number of prisoners held in 205 countries. It also illustrates the differences in the level of imprisonment across the world and provides a means of estimating the world prison population.
Yes, In My Backyard
Yes, In My Backyard is a web-based clearinghouse of information on closing and reusing prisons in the United States. It provide facts, opinions and ideas about what happens when prisons close and how the empty buildings and surrounding property can be re-purposed in ways that benefit communities. The Project reports on prison and jail closures and reuse in urban, suburban and rural areas and is particularly concerned with the challenges of closing and reusing prisons in economically struggling rural places.
The 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, transgender people, and communities of color by the prison industrial complex (PIC). We see the struggle for racial and gender justice as central to dismantling the PIC and we prioritize the leadership of the people, families, and communities most impacted in building this movement.
Chicago Legal Advocacy for Incarcerated Mothers (CLAIM)
CLAIM provides legal and educational services to maintain the bond between imprisoned mothers and their children. CLAIM also advocates for policies and programs that benefit families of imprisoned mothers and reduce incarceration of women and girls. The Advocacy Project is a vehicle for the activism of women who speak with the authority of their experience and who have the courage to work publicly as former prisoners to bring about change.
The Children of Incarcerated Parents Blog
The Children of Incarcerated Parents blog – the first national blog dedicated to exploring the impact of parental incarceration on children and families. There are an estimated two million minor children in the United States who have an incarcerated parent. The incarceration of parents not only has a devastating and damaging impact on children, but it also affects their caregivers and the well-being and integrity of their families.
Coalition for Women Prisoners' Re-entry Committee
The Coalition for Women Prisoners' Re-entry Committee has published a new nook for women returning home from incarceration. My Sister's Keeper, A Book for Women Returning Home From Prison or Jail, is a unique compilation of the words and experiences of women from New York in various stages of returning home from incarceration. My Sister's Keeper offers peer-to-peer guidance, strength and hope to help women in re-entry cope with challenges of reclaiming their lives. The CA's Women in Prison Project will distribute the guide to women incarcerated in New York's correctional facilities, as well as women in alternative to incarceration programs and transitional services programs throughout New York State. (May 2008) It is available online.
Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act
The DVSJA Campaign is part of the Coalition for Women Prisoners' multi-year advocacy campaign to change the criminal justice system's harsh and unjust response to DV survivors who act to protect themselves from an abuser's violence. The campaign seeks not only to change policy, but also to raise public awareness about the devastating connection between abuse and women's pathways to prison.
The Coalition for Women Prisoners, coordinated by the Correctional Association's Women in Prison Project, is a state-wide alliance of more than 1,600 people and 100 organizations. Members include people with criminal justice histories, social service providers, community-based organizations, lawyers, teachers, students, faith leaders, and concerned individuals.
Legal Services for Prisoners with Children (LSPC)
LSPC works for the rights of incarcerated parents and people in risk of incarceration. LSPC provides information, trainings, and technical assistance, and responds to requests for help with litigation, community activism and the development of more advocates. In particular, the organization focuses on women prisoners and their families.
National Advocates for Pregnant Women
Works nationally and locally to ensure that women do not lose their constitutional rights as a result of being pregnant. Currently litigating and advocating on behalf of Regina McNight who was convicted of homicide for using crack cocaine while pregnant.
The National Directory of Programs for Women with Criminal Justice Involvement
The National Directory of Programs for Women with Criminal Justice Involvement is a free, online resource to help you find information on programs and services nationally for women in the criminal justice system.
The site can help you find answers to questions like:
* Is there a mother-child visiting program at the prison in my state?
* Where can my relative go for help when she gets out of jail?
* How are other states addressing the mental health issues of women in the criminal justice system?
* We are seeking funding to create an on-site nursery program. What other systems have prison nurseries?
* I am a caseworker helping a woman who will be relocating out of state. How can I find out about specific programs to which I can refer her?
* Are there programs that have been evaluated for effectiveness?
The Rebecca Project for Human Rights
The Rebecca Project for Human Rights advocates for justice, dignity and policy reform for vulnerable women and girls in the United States and in Africa. We believe that women and girls possess the right to live free of gendered inequity and violence, and that investment in their leadership creates healthy, safe, and strong communities.
US PROStitutes and English Collective of Prostitutes
Since 1975, the International Prostitutes Collective has been campaigning for the abolition of the prostitution laws which criminalize sex workers and our families, and for economic alternatives and higher benefits and wages.
Women and Girls in the Criminal Justice System
From the National Criminal Justice Reference Service. "Female criminal behavior has been commonly perceived as a less serious problem than male criminal behavior. Historically, women have been more likely to commit minor offenses and have made up only a small proportion of the offender population. Although women remain a relatively small number of all prisoners, these facts have concealed a trend in the rising percentage of female offenders, their participation in violent crime, and have inhibited the development of gender-specific programs to address the issue."
Women and Prison: A Site for Resistance
Makes visible women's experiences in the criminal justice system. Documenting these stories is integral to this project of resistance. The stories are supported by a collection of resources, such as organizations, reports, essays, and links to a wide range of information on women and prison.
Women on the Rise Telling HerStory (WORTH)
WORTH is an association of formerly and
incarcerated women who have been empowered by their
own experiences. Through mentoring, mutual support,
leadership development and telling our stories, WORTH
transforms the lives of women directly impacted by
incarceration and changes public perception and
Womens Prison Association (WPA)
WPA is a non-profit organization working to create opportunities for change in the lives of women prisoners, ex-prisoners, and their families. WPA provides programs whose ultimate goal is to end womens involvement in the criminal justice system and improve choices and opportunities for women and their families.
Death Penalty Information Center
The Death Penalty Information Center is a non-profit organization serving the media and the public with analysis and information on issues concerning capital punishment. Their website contains resources, news, and links addressing issues of clemency, the costs of capital punishment, the death penalty worldwide, race, gender, the execution of innocent people, and much more.
National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (NCADP)
NCADP is one of the nations leading organizations devoted to abolishing the death penalty. NCADP provides information, advocates for public policy, and mobilizes and supports individuals and institutions that share our unconditional rejection of capital punishment.
Mental Health Care in U.S. Prisons
A map of the most recent information available on mental health care for all 50 state adult prison systems. Click on each state to find: the percentage of inmates diagnosed as mentally ill; an assessment of whether there is an adequate number of staff for mental health care; and details on the kinds of mental health training, if any, that correctional officers are required to receive. There is also contact information for each state's Department of Corrections.
A.D.: New Orleans
After the Deluge is a web comic book and web
site. It is a true story told in 14 parts about six
different people - Leo and Michelle, Denise, Hamid,
Kevin, and the Doctor - who escape and survive
BleakHouse Publishing is a small, independent press
devoted to creative writing in the service of social
justice. Their goal is to publish works that shed a
humane light on the nether world of penal
institutions, as well as other repressive settings,
practices and beliefs. Existential themes-such as
suffering and loss, atonement and redemption-are
central to works published by BleakHouse. Poetry,
prose, novels, plays, and short stories dealing with
social justice are welcome and will be carefully
reviewed. All proceeds from the sale of our books and
chapbooks are used to fund the publication of
writings by prisoners and others of limited means.
The Center for Urban Pedagogy
CUP makes educational projects about places
and how they change. Projects bring together art and design professionals -
artists, graphic designers, architects, urban planners - with
community-based advocates and researchers - organizers, government
officials, academics, service-providers and policymakers. These partners
work with CUP staff to create projects ranging from high school curricula to
County Jail Survival Guide
Free eBook. This guide to life in jail gives you
the information you need to survive behind bars. It
allows inmates, friends and families to understand what
jail is really like and debunks some of the popular
myths perpetuated by the media. The survival guide
discusses specific tactics that will help you avoid
violence and trouble in jail.
Grants for Single Mothers
The site is among the web's top educational resources focused on helping single mothers find grants. Topics include eligibility, how to apply, types of grants, and related information.
In Our Own Backyard
In Our Own Backyard is an organization of
photojournalists committed to the cause of social
justice in the United States. The inaugural project,
AmericanPoverty.org is a multimedia examination of
the daily struggles of impoverished Americans: a
comprehensive and innovative campaign that will
affect the way the general public and policymakers
think about poverty in America. In Our Own Backyard
believes that increasing awareness about poverty is a
critical prelude to building support for initiatives
that can create lasting impact in the lives of
disadvantaged people. Visual story-telling is unique
in its power to achieve that awareness.
The International Justice Resource Center
IJRC's mission is to empower individuals, through knowledge, to use the law and legal mechanisms for the greater protection of human rights around the world. IJRC is committed to ensuring access to educational materials, training and support for victims and advocates.
Jean Trounstine: Author/Teacher/Prison Activist
Each week you will find an article to enlighten, engage or even enrage, mostly about the criminal justice system in the U.S. but at times about the larger issues that touch all of us.
Justice Action is an Australian community-based organization comprising criminal justice and prison reform activists. We are prisoners and ex-prisoners, lawyers, academics, victims of crime, and community members.
Justice for Lynne Stewart: Who is Lynne Stewart?
Radical human rights attorney Lynne Stewart has been falsely accused of helping terrorists. Now convicted, she faces 30 years in prison. On Tuesday, April 9, 2002, she was arrested and agents searched her Manhattan office for documents. She was arraigned before Manhattan federal Judge John Koetl. This is an obvious attempt by the U.S. government to silence dissent, curtail vigorous defense lawyers, and install fear in those who would fight against the U.S. government's racism, seek to help Arabs and Muslims being prosecuted for free speech and defend the rights of all oppressed people.
The Knotted Line
I REALLY encourage you to check this out!
You can begin at 1495 all the way to right and continue to now.
Interesting visuals and packed with information.
Installation art by Richard Kamler.
MAXIMUM SECURITY 1. 1981 . Overall: 10‚x21‚x45‚.Concrete block, barbed wire, oil stick, lamb carcasses,plasticbags. During the course of theinstallation the lamb carcasses in the plastic bags decayed, formed maggots and then hatched flies. Movement occurred in the bags. The flies moved around in the bags. The entire wall of the gallery were painted black and the words maximum security written on them. Viewers stood in back of the concrete block wall topped with barb wire and looked into a space which had two actual size cells drawn on the floor.
MAXIMUM SECURITY 3. 1983. Barbed wire, Marcel Breur chairs, magazines, i.e. House Beautiful, In the Belly of the Beast, Space Planning Standards for American Correctional Institutions, etc.PVC tubing, sheet lead, animal skull, yellow line signifies the closest a staff person can get to a maximum security cell, cardboard boxes, black vinyl plastic,, denim clothingand mixed media. Overall dim. 9'x12'x28'
MAXIMUM SECURITY 4. 1985. 8‚x4‚-6x10‚-3. Concrete block, metal bars, metal bed frame, mattress, barbed wire, clock, ceramic toilet and sink, audio tape of ambient sounds of prisons. Cell based upon exact dimension of cell in San Quentin State Prison.
The National Boricua Human Rights Network
The NBHRN is an organization composed of Puerto
Ricans in the US and their supporters that educates
and mobilizes the Puerto Rican community, the broader
Latin American community and other people of
conscience regarding issues of justice, peace and
The National Priorities Project (NPP)
NPP focuses on the impacts of federal tax and spending policies at the community level. NPP works to translate policy information into everyday language in order to assist national and grassroots groups in their efforts to improve schools, create living wage jobs, provide affordable housing, and develop alternatives to excessive spending on the military and prisons.
The Open Society Institute (OSI)
The Open Society Institute is part of the Soros foundations network. The goal of the Soros foundations network is to transform closed societies into open, democratic ones and to protect the values of existing open societies. The OSI Criminal Justice Initiative supports work to reduce the excessive reliance on punishment and incarceration in the United States, and to promote fair and equal treatment in all aspects of the U.S. criminal justice system.
The Phogg Phoundation for the Pursuit of Happiness
The Phogg Phoundation for the Pursuit of Happiness, is a private non-profit (501[c]3) organization dedicated to preserving the United States Constitution, Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights, especially the right to pursue happiness and the right to privacy. While we have a special emphasis on and love for Austin and Texas, our interests are not limited by geographical boundaries. This year, grant recipients include groups working to:
• reform the criminal justice system, including ending the drug war;
• protect prisoners' rights and end the death penalty;
• protect civil liberties and human rights, and to end racism and genocide;
• promote peace, and assist victims of war;
• provide health resource, housing and food to all, including meeting the needs of refugees and immigrants, and preserving women's reproductive rights;
• protect our irreplaceable environment;
• preserve Jewish history, and fight anti-Semitism;
• support Native American rights and dignity;
• provide elders with respect and security;
• build democratic media, preserve historical resources, and oppose censorship;
• support progressive community arts and cultural institutions;
• build self-sufficiency in Third World countries and at home; and
• protect domestic and free ("wild") animals.
The Prison Arts Coalition
The Prison Arts Coalition (PAC) is an independent space providing information and resources for people creating art in and around the American prison system.
Prison Creative Arts Project (PCAP)
The Prison Creative Arts Project of the University of Michigan is committed to supporting the production of original work in the arts in Michigan Correctional Facilities. PCAP's purpose is to enhance creative opportunities for inmates.
Provisions is a social change learning resource amplifying compelling voices that challenge and redefine the mainstream. It is a platform for experiencing alternative perspectives and radical visions that inspire the activist in each of us. Provisions is an experimental arena where broad and diverse audiences, cultures and ideas intersect, sparking new possibilities for enacting peace, justice, sustainability, social responsibility and respect for the diversity of life.
The Public Eye (Political Research Associates)
Political Research Associates is a research institute that studies authoritarian and repressive institutions and trends worldwide. The Public Eye is their website with research, information, and links for activists, educators and others.
Radical Reference is a collective of volunteer library workers who believe in social justice and equality. We support activist communities, progressive organizations, and independent journalists by providing professional research support, education and access to information. We work in a collaborative virtual setting and are dedicated to information activism to foster a more egalitarian society.
Society of Professional Journalists: Freedom of Information
Prison Access Policies. State By State Press Access. Compiled by Jessica Pupovac, freelance reporter. January 2013.
Voices from the Gulf
On the second anniversary of Katrina, a connection to people around the country, as directly as possible, to Katrina survivors -- creating a window into their lives. Here is a platform for Katrina survivors to make their stories heard.
The Washington Coalition for Parole
The Washington Coalition for Parole has come together for ONE purpose only: to restore a parole system to Washington State prisons Attorneys, former and current legislators, friends and families of prisoners, former and current prisoners, survivors of crime, volunteers in the prison system, representatives of impacted organizations, and community members know that there are many urgent problems in our criminal justice system. The Washington Coalition for Parole is diverse in cultural and political values, and united in our concern that our justice system be just to all parties and elevate wise compassion over vengeance.
Almost any issue, idea or fact can be expressed in a comic. This kind of visual storytelling is flexible, attention-grabbing and relatively inexpensive. World Comics promotes the use of local comics as a means for social change.
Youth at Risk
Youth at Risk transforms the chaotic lives of young people through
persistent and companionate mentoring.
Zen Karmics is designed to impart useful instruction in meditative practice for prisoners in a culturally relevant manner, accessible to those who might be poorly educated or illiterate. The illustration to the right is a panel from a Zen Karmics installment. We are grateful to Duncan Eagleson for his art work in Zen Karmics.
Association of Private Correctional and Treatment Organizations
For those of you wanting info about facilities owned or operated by private prison companies, you need to check this site out. It tells who is in the facility, who owns or manages, where it is, when it opened, accreditation, who the contractors are, jurisdiction and what is subcontracted out.
The "official home of corrections". Corrections.com is a news source and on-line information center for the corrections industry. The website contain links to many websites associated with the corrections industry (for example, the Corrections Corporation of America).
State Departments of Corrections
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