Successful transitions from prison to the outside requires support not from one organization, but the entire community. PRN recognizes these as the best resources for individuals anticipating release from prison.
List of the reentry resources from the PRN website in a concise printable version written to be distributed inside.
The best guide for individuals anticipating release from prison, Getting Out and Staying Out was initially created by the San Francisco Reentry Council and much of its information is specific to San Francisco County. However, PRN distributes this easy-to-use guide to individuals anticipating release to any California county because Getting Out and Staying Out provides such great general information on identification, public benefits, probation and parole, and the array of issues facing an individual anticipating release from prison.
The guide is available for download, or will be distributed free to prisoners who request a copy by writing to this address:
Reentry Council of the City & County of San Francisco
Adult Probation Department
880 Bryant Street, Room 200
San Francisco, CA 94103
This is another comprehensive guide on reentry resources, and not all resources in this guide are available only to veterans. Pages 50-100 detail reentry resources for each county. Available for download, or through written request to PRN.
Printable County-Specific Reentry Resources
Reentry happens on the community level, and each community understands its own needs and resources. These guides provide reentry-related information specific to certain counties, and can be quickly printed and distributed:
For individuals anticipating a hearing before the Parole Board, Bridges to Freedom guides an individual through every step of the parole hearing process. Developed single-handedly by PRN Advisory Board Member James DeBacco, an individual currently incarcerated in Ironwood State Prison, this guide is an intellectual tour de force, and represents the staggering talent that is trapped behind prison walls. Read more about Bridges to Freedom here, and you can have a copy sent directly to someone inside through this link.
Prison Law Office
Their website is here, or you can write them at:
Prison Law Office
San Quentin, CA 94964
Life Support Alliance – California Lifer Newsletter
Life Support Alliance (LSA) is an advocacy group that monitors all aspects of the Board of Parole Hearings (BPH). They observe parole hearings, correspond with prisoners, report their findings, and serve as a repository of information to advocacy organizations and government officials interested in our prisons. They also produce the California Lifer Newsletter (CLN), which is the best legal and political information available for prisoners, particularly lifers.
To subscribe to CLN send $30 (for prisoners) or $99 (for free people) to:
California Lifer Newsletter
PO Box 277
Rancho Cordova, CA 95741
LSA also provides information through mail, and takes calls from prisoners: 916.402.3750
Root and Rebound’s Roadmap to Reentry
An exhaustive resource detailing legal information affecting individuals who have left prison. Available online here, or distributed free to prisoners who request a copy at this address:
Root & Rebound
1730 Franklin Street, Suite 300
Oakland, CA 94612
A certificate of rehabilitation will reduce many of the barriers related to a felony record. It is very rare to be granted a certificate of rehabilitation, but worth trying. Though these are documents related to getting a certificate from San Diego county, and they provide a good guide for anyone obtaining a certificate of rehabilitation in California.
LSPC has developed information for incarcerated individuals, including information specific to incarcerated parents, pregnancy, and host of other issues.
See all the manuals here, or write them at:
Legal Services for Prisoners with Children
1540 Market St., Suite 490
San Francisco, CA 94102
Prison Library Project
The Prison Library Project provides free reading materials to prison inmates nationwide. PLP prioritizes educational and self-help literature and recognizes the value of literacy development through active engagement with books in general.
Prisoners can write to request books at:
915-C W. Foothill Blvd
Claremont, CA 91711
Members of the public can reach PLP at:
586 W. 1st St.
Claremont, CA 91711
John Jay College’s guide to continuing your education after incarceration.
CDCR is difficult to contact, so advocates and loved ones cannot reach the CDCR staff that can support people inside, nor do they have access to the policies that affect their lives. This list, from PRN Advisory Board member Caitlin Kelly Henry, Esq., details available contact and policy information for each institution.
Criminal Record Information
In California it is difficult to remove a felony from your criminal record. However, having a copy of your criminal record may be valuable both inside and out.
Brief overview by the Social Security Agency entitled, "What Prisoners Need to Know."
Many prisoners will face deportation when they are released, and will be taken to a detention center, and then to their country of origin. The Immigrant Legal Resource Center’s Toolkit and the Prison Law Office’s guide, in both English and Spanish, provide information on immigration.
When someone is released, they may want to shed their prior affiliations and identities. Tattoo removal, as explained in this guide, is a wonderful way to do just that.