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 2023 edition linked here.

Resource Category
Ohio University Correctional Education

Ohio University offers print-based courses to earn degree or simply take courses. Offers Associates, Bachelors, and Legal Studies Certificate courses. Write for a student inquiry packet and application, or get family/friends to download from the internet and mail directly to you. Offers courses nationally.

Educational Resources, College and Higher Education Courses
PEN America Prison Justice and Writing

The PEN prison writing program provide hundreds of imprisoned writers across the country with free writing resources, skilled mentors, and audiences for their work. Its program supports free expression, and encourages the use of the written word as a legitimate form of power.  In additional to mentoring, PEN publishes a national list of prison-based creative writing programs, sponsors an annual writing contest, publishes the free book Handbook for Writers In Prison, conducts workshops, and seeks to promote prisoners' work publicly through literary publications and readings. Serves writers nationally.

Educational Resources, Prison Writing / Arts Programs
Prison Creative Arts Project

Brings those impacted by the justice system together with the University of Michigan community for artistic collaboration, mutual learning, and growth. Its programs include weekly creative arts workshops, exhibitions, a literary journal, and a community of formerly incarcerated creators. Write to PCAP to join the newsletter mailing list and receive its calls for art and writing. Michigan only.


Educational Resources, Prison Writing / Arts Programs
Prison Mindfulness Institute (Prison Dharma Network )

Goal is to provide prisoners, prison staff and prison volunteers, with the most effective, proven tools for rehabilitation, self-transformation, and personal & professional development through mindfulness-based interventions (MBI’s). The Prison Dharma Network works with volunteers who offer meditation inside prisons. Its Books Behind Bars program will mail mindfulness, meditation, and Buddhism to people inside prison. its Prison Dharma Press sells additional books about buddhism and meditation in prison.

Educational Resources, Religious Programs / Spiritual Resources
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. Serves writers nationally.

Educational Resources, Prison Writing / Arts Programs
Safe Streets Arts Foundation

Accepts and sells/distributes prisoner art, publishes prisoner books online, and stages annual shows at the Kennedy Center in
DC. All services free; write for submission guidelines; state whether you are a writer or artist (SASE ensures quick reply).


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 Prison Project

Dedicated to disseminating the Siddha Yoga meditation teachings and practices to incarcerated individuals. Sends its free monthly In Search of the Self meditation course with a companion newsletter to interested seekers. Write or call to get signed up. Serves people nationally.


Educational Resources, Rehabilitation Programs
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

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.



Educational Resources, Free Books Programs