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 2018 Resource Guide.

Resource Category
Books Through Bars

Sends free books to individual prisoners. Prisoners may request by topic (not exact title or author), and provide several areas of interest if possible. Serves individuals in DE, MD, NJ, NY, PA, VA, & WV only.

Free Books Programs
Books to Prisoners

Books to Prisoners provides free books to prisoners nationwide. Request by subject; very few religious or legal materials. Does not ship to prisons that require all books sent be new. No male California requests. Book requests only accepted by snail mail.

Free Books Programs
Boston University Prison Education Program

Degrees Offered: Bachelor or undergraduate certificate, both in Interdisciplinary Studies. Programs include accounting, English composition, Latin, biology, sociology, marketing, acting, and language courses in Spanish, French, and Greek and more. Offered for prisoners incarcerated at MCI Norfolk (men’s facility) and MCI Framingham (women’s facility) only.

Regional Advocacy Organizations, Massachusetts
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). The struggle for racial and gender justice is central to dismantling the PIC and CCWP prioritizes the leadership of the people, families, and communities most impacted in building this movement. CCWP also visits women prisoners in CA and produces a newsletter “The Fire Inside,” free to women prisoners. Serves individuals in California only. 

L.A. Chapter – PO Box 291585, Los Angeles, CA  90029

Nationwide Organizations and Resources, Women's Organizations and Resources
California Families to Abolish Solitary Confinement

CFASC is dedicated to stopping the inhumane treatment of prisoners within the California penal system, especially those held in solitary confinement. Their ultimate goal is to end the use of solitary confinement.

Regional Advocacy Organizations, California
California Innocence Project

Accepts cases only where the conviction occurred in the following Southern California counties: Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura (for all other CA counties, see the Northern California Innocence Project). In addition to DNA cases, they also review cases that may involve witness recantations, changes in science, government misconduct, or ineffective assistance of counsel – so long as there is evidence of innocence to support the claim. Serves people convicted in Southern California counties only.

Legal Resources, Innocence Projects
California Prison Focus

Human and civil rights group that investigates conditions in the California SHUs (control/isolation units), organizes and advocates for prisoners' rights, and provides self-help legal materials. Their quarterly newspaper, Prison Focus, is distributed free to SHU prisoners, $8 a year to other prisoners, and $20 a year to all others. Serves individuals in California only. 

Regional Advocacy Organizations
California State Prisoner's Handbook

The California State Prisoners Handbook (Heather MacKay & Prison Law Office, 4th Ed, 2008, 1100 pages), is $40 if shipped directly to prisoners or parolees, $182 for all others (including the 2014 supplement). All orders include sales tax and shipping. The Handbook discusses in detail the laws governing prisoner rights and the policies and practices of the CDCR. The Handbook also includes numerous sample forms and model pleadings. The 17 chapters cover: Administrative Appeals, Rights of Prisoners, Classification and Transfers, Determinate Sentences, Time Credits and Release Dates, Life Prisoners, Disciplinary Violations and Segregation, Medical and Mental Health Care, Detainers and Extradition, Early and Temporary Releases and Special Prison Programs, Parole, MDO and SVP Commitments, Workers Compensation and Other Benefits, Immigration Issues for Noncitizen Prisoners, Writs of Habeas Corpus and Mandate, Federal Civil Rights and State Tort Law Actions, Direct Appeals of Convictions, Legal Research and Writing. PLEASE NOTE: This book is offered to prisoners and parolees at a special subsidized price. Those who are not a prisoner or parolee (or are not purchasing the book for shipping directly to a prisoner or parolee) must pay the regular price. Note: This book has not been updated since the 2014 supplement.

PARC Recommended Legal and Educational Prison Books
California's Parole Suitability Hearing Support

Community guidance and support for California's incarcerated and their loved ones specifically in preparing for upcoming Parole Suitability Hearings.  Members will review hearing transcripts from past parole board hearings and provide suggestions on how to improve performance before the Board. Serves only individuals in California. 

Regional Advocacy Organizations, California
Campaign to End the Death Penalty

A national grassroots abolitionist organization that works with prisoners, family members and organizers. Their publication “The New Abolitionist,” is now available only online.

Death Penalty Resources