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.


Resource Category
Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program

Organization supporting education model that brings together campus-based college students with incarcerated students for a class held inside jail or prison. this is a training center for Inside-Out education programs all across the country. it does not directly teach students. Write to find out if there is an inside-out program in your state.

Educational Resources, College and Higher Education Courses
ISKCON Prison Ministry

Sends free material about bhakti-yoga study and practice; books, prayer beads, CDs, MP3s, and incense. We need to know: 1) Which items you are allowed to have, 2) Are you allowed hardbound or only softbound books? 3) Which items can be sent to you directly and which only through the chaplain?
The books cover reincarnation, karma, and how to live a simple, godly life, and find internal peace and joy no matter what your circumstances.

Educational Resources, Religious Programs / Spiritual Resources
Islamic Society of North America

ISNA's vision is to be an exemplary and unifying Islamic organization in North America that contributes to the betterment of the Muslim community and society at large. Sends Qurans and other introductory books on Islamic study to prison libraries and inmates. Ability to send books depends on the prison’s policies. Also publishes a bi-monthly magazine, Islamic Horizons for $24/year. Serves people nationwide.

Educational Resources, Religious Programs / Spiritual Resources
Ithaca College Books Thru Bars

Set within Ithaca College, this group works to send reading literature to incarcerated individuals as well as raise awareness of issues related to incarceration. Serves NY, NY, VT, MA, RI, CT, NJ, and PA. Include a request for a genre, author, or title and any mailing restrictions for you facility.  Requests will be honored as best as possible. Be patient for response as they only pack and mail twice per semester.

Books, Magazines, and Publishers, Free Books Programs
Jailhouse Lawyers Handbook - 6th Ed., 2021

The Jailhouse Lawyers Handbook: How to Bring a Federal Lawsuit to Challenge Violations of Your Rights in Prison

NEW EDITION! Published jointly by the National Lawyers Guild and the Center for Constitutional Rights, explains how a prisoner can start a lawsuit in federal court to fight against mistreatment and bad conditions in prison. This handbook is a free resource for people in prison who wish to file a federal lawsuit addressing poor conditions in prison or abuse by prison staff. It also contains limited general information about the United States legal system. Has excellent explanation of the Prison Litigation Reform Act. Essential resource for any jailhouse lawyer.  Last updated in 2021.  To receive a paperbound copy, mail a request to the above address and wait at least 2 months for return.  Requests are bundled and sent only several times per year.  If no response after 3 months, write to the National NLG Prison Law Project for a copy: P.O. Box 1266; New York, NY, 10009.

The Handbook is also available downloaded from their website ( Request an outside source to print and mail it to you. List of chapter headings: (1) How to Use the JLH; (2) Overview of Types of Lawsuits and the Prison Litigation Reform Act' 3) Your Rights in Prison; (4) Who to Sue and What to Ask for; (5) How to Start Your Lawsuit; (6) What Happens After You File Your Suit; (7) The Legal System and Legal Research; and Appendices A-N.

PARC Recommended Legal and Educational Prison Books
Jewish Prisoner Services International

JPSI is a Jewish chaplaincy organization that strives to fulfill the Talmudic obligation of all Jews being responsible for each other, along with other religious mandates of their faith. JPSI strives to insure that Jewish prisoners are permitted to practice their faith by providing the advocacy and religious materials to further that goal. Write for a prisoner info form. Serves Jewish prisoners nationally; expect delay in response.

Educational Resources, Religious Programs / Spiritual Resources
John Howard Association of Illinois

The John Howard Association (JHA) is the only independent monitor for corrections in Illinois. They visit all Illinois prisons and juvenile facilities, write reports about prison conditions, and advocate for system-wide policy changes.  Write to JHA for further details and to report an issue or problem related to conditions of confinement, ask a question about prison policies and practices, and request information including JHA public statements, reports, survey results, information packets, forms, and IDOC rules. People on the outside can also contact JHA through the website or by leaving a message. JHA uses the information provided to learn about what is going on inside so they can work to advance changes that will have a positive future impact. Write “privileged mail” on the envelope to communicate confidentially. Responds to letters from any states and facilities, but only monitors and reports on Illinois prisons.

Regional Advocacy Organizations, Illinois
Just Detention International

JDI is a health and human rights organization that seeks to end sexual abuse and exploitation in all forms of detention. It publishes a Resource Guide listing service providers in all 50 states that can help incarcerated survivors, as well as a Survivor Packet, which includes Hope for Healing, with contact information for local rape crisis centers and legal aid organizations; and a letter of hope from another prisoner rape survivor. Prisoners may communicate confidentially with JDI using legal mail at the above address. Serves people nationally.

Nationwide Organizations and Resources
Justice Now

Justice Now focuses on the needs of women prisoners. They work on alternative sentencing; document human rights abuses in prison; provide legal services around women's healthcare access, and offer assistance with compassionate release. Serves women in California only.

Women's Organizations and Resources
Keeping the Faith: The Prison Project

Keeping the Faith–The Prison Project serves women in Washington state prisons through dance, expository writing, visual art and performance. This program serves hundreds of women in prison as well as offering their incarcerated peers in the audience a chance to discuss topics relating to their own lives after each performance. Serves women in Washington only.

Women's Organizations and Resources