How to support incarcerated folks

Art: Jules Cowan

Volunteer & Donate to the Orgs Doin’ the Work!

California Coalition for Women Prisoners 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.

Critical Resistance seeks to build an international movement to end the Prison Industrial Complex by challenging the belief that caging and controlling people makes us safe. We believe that basic necessities such as food, shelter, and freedom are what really make our communities secure. As such, our work is part of global struggles against inequality and powerlessness. The success of the movement requires that it reflect communities most affected by the Prison Industrial Complex. Because we seek to abolish the PIC, we cannot support any work that extends its life or scope.

The Ella Baker Center works locally, statewide, and nationally to end mass incarceration and criminalization. We mobilize everyday people to build power and prosperity in our communities. We are named after Ella Baker, a brilliant, black hero of the civil rights movement. Following in her footsteps, we organize with Black, Brown, and low-income people to shift resources away from prisons and punishment, and towards opportunities that make our communities safe, healthy, and strong.

Prison Activist Resource Center (PARC) is a prison abolitionist group committed to exposing and challenging all forms of institutionalized racism, sexism, able-ism, heterosexism, and classism, specifically within the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC). PARC believes in building strategies and tactics that build safety in our communities without reliance on the police or the PIC. We produce a directory that is free to prisoners upon request, and seek to work in solidarity with prisoners, ex-prisoners, their friends and families.

TGI Justice Project is a group of transgender, gender variant and intersex people—inside and outside of prisons, jails and detention centers—creating a united family in the struggle for survival and freedom. We work in collaboration with others to forge a culture of resistance and resilience to strengthen us for the fight against human rights abuses, imprisonment, police violence, racism, poverty, and societal pressures. We seek to create a world rooted in self- determination, freedom of expression, and gender justice.

Get a Pen Pal! 

Looking for a way to take concrete action against the system of mass incarceration? Get a pen pal and support someone on the inside.

Human Rights Pen Pals is a grassroots, racial justice community organization, in solidarity with people in California’s solitary confinement cells.  Through letter writing and community organizing, we promote principled, mutually educational relationships between people in solitary confinement and human rights supporters outside the prison walls.

Support their families & loved ones

Volunteer with organizations supporting the loved ones of incarcerated folks.

Friends Outside provides services and support to visitors at each California State Prison, and are located outside the prison walls but on prison grounds (usually adjacent to the visitor parking lots). Visitor Centers provide childcare, transportation, information and resources, and a restful and welcoming place to stop for a moment before and after visits. Does not usually respond to letters.

CIVIC seeks to end the isolation and abuse of people in immigration detention by building and strengthening visitation programs.  We provide resources, training, and capacity building support to a network of visitation programs across the United States.