Resources: Educational Resources

PARC corresponds with and mails a directory of these resources to prisoners, their friends and family members. We are often the first point of contact for people to connect with prisoners' rights organizations, community organizations, prison literature and arts projects, family and visiting resources, health care and legal resources, parole and pre-release resources, and the prison abolition movement.

Download a PDF copy of the 2022 edition linked here.

Resource Category
Prison University Project

Prison University Project is a on-profit organization that supports the College Program at San Quentin State Prison, an associate's degree program. Courses are taught by volunteers, most of them graduate students, instructors, and faculty members from San Francisco Bay Area colleges and universities. Also works to expand higher educations for incarcerated Californians more generally. Published report on higher education in prison available. Serves people in California only.

Educational Resources, College and Higher Education Courses
Prison Yoga Project

Prison Yoga Project supports incarcerated people with trauma-informed yoga and mindfulness practices as a means of self-empowerment and self-rehabilitation. PYP believes yoga helps everyone develop the self-awareness, self-worth, empathy, and compassion that leads to positive personal and pro-social choices. Since 2010, it has sent more than 26,000 copies of Yoga: A Path for Healing and Recovery free of charge on request.  Serves people everywhere.

Educational Resources, Rehabilitation Programs
Prisons Foundation

Prisons Foundation publishes books written by or about prisoners. Their publishing program includes posting books onto their website for download. They also exhibit art created in prison (see Write directly for book submission guidelines prior to sending a manuscript.  The prison author retains full rights to their book, for later placement with a literary agent or commercial publisher if desired. It also now offers quality Dictionaries and Thesauruses for only $3.95 each, and will mail them directly to prisoners. Serves writers nationally.

Educational Resources, Prison Writing / Arts Programs
Set Free Prison Ministries

Provides Bible study courses in English and Spanish to people free of charge. Curriculum consists of Bible courses from the Navigators in Colorado Springs, Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, and Emmaus Correspondence School in Iowa. Provides free postage both mailing and return. Serves people nationally.

Educational Resources, Religious Programs / Spiritual Resources
SYDA Foundation Yoga Prison Project

Dedicated to disseminating the Siddha Yoga teachings and practices to incarcerated individuals. Sends free monthly newsletter and the Siddha Yoga Home Study Course to prisoners. Write to get signed up for the Yoga Study Project. Serves people nationally.

Educational Resources, Religious Programs / Spiritual Resources
The Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project

This program is administered by Auburn University and dedicated to bringing educational opportunities to prisoners in Alabama. The program is helping the adult prison population to gain a quality education, and also to build a relationship with learning that will continue to grow for the rest of their lives. Serves Alabama only.

Educational Resources, Prison Writing / Arts Programs
The American Prison Writing Archive

The American Prison Writing Archive is an digital archive of non-fiction essays that offers the public first-hand testimony to the living and working conditions experienced by prisoners, prison employees, and prison volunteers. All prisoners can contribute. Non-fiction essays, based on first-hand experience, should be limited to 5,000 words (15 double-spaced pages). Clearly hand-written pages are also welcome. They charge no fees and read all writing submitted. Write in for the permissions-questionnaire, which MUST accompany all submissions. Serves writers nationally.

Educational Resources, Prison Writing / Arts Programs
The Insight Prison Project

IPP offers transformational restorative justice based programs for incarcerated people, which are supported by crime survivors and community volunteers.  IPP currently conducts 13 weekly classes at San Quentin State Prison, involving some 175 prisoners. IPP’s Victim Offender Education Group  (VOEG) is a nationally recognized restorative justice program.  IPP also offers our VOEG program in 15 other prisons.  IPP provides in-prison services in California, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Colorado.  IPP does NOT currently offer correspondence courses, books, pen pals, or legal services.

Educational Resources, Rehabilitation Programs
The Osborne Association

Osborne offers a wide range of direct services to justice system-involved people and their children and families. Our programs and services are evidence- and experience-based and designed to reduce crime and reliance on incarceration, heal the damage and trauma of crime and incarceration, and enhance opportunity for those affected by crime and incarceration. Offers services to incarcerated parents as well. Write for list of programs and services. The Osborne Association has three locations: in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Newburgh. Only Servces People in New York.


Educational Resources, Rehabilitation Programs
Upper Iowa University

Upper Iowa University offers a Self-Paced Degree Program, with courses in paper format that can be completed at a distance. The Self-Paced paper format is structured around written assignments and proctored exams. Offers associate degrees in business administration, criminal justice, liberal arts, psychology, and social science. Write for tuition costs ($990 per course 2021-22 academic year) and course catalog. Write, do not call. Serves students nationwide.

Educational Resources, College and Higher Education Courses
Urbana-Champaign Books to Prisoners

UC Books to Prisoners is an Urbana, Illinois based project providing books at no cost by mail to inmates in state and federal prisons, as well as in two county jail libraries in Illinois. Serves people in Illinois only.

Educational Resources, Free Books Programs
Wisconsin Books to Prisoners Project

Wisconsin Books to Prisoners is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization that sends books free of charge to state and federal prisoners in Wisconsin. Does not respond to email inquiries. Please request by genre or subject category. Sends to Wisconsin only. May be delays due to covid.


Educational Resources, Free Books Programs