Prisoner Support

Prisoner Support

  • Black and Pink supports LGBTQ prisoners. There are chapters all over the country where people gather to reach out to prisoners, process mail, connect prisoners with pen pals, and support imprisoned organizers. The national organization provides support to the local chapters on how to get started with the work and how to work through questions and problems—start a chapter in your town!
  • Anarchist Black Cross guide on starting to support prisoners: http://www.abcf.net/support-beginning/ (to get the whole guide you have to go to their site, click on get involved, then resources, the prisoner support guide and it appears in chapters you can click on)
  • Jason Lydon from Black and Pink wrote a document for the Unitarian Universalist Prison Ministry of Illinois about how congregations can support prisoners. It is a thorough document covering many topics including how to start letter-writing projects, how to do visits, how to support GED programs and more. Read the google doc here.
  • Education Justice Project of Illinois provides classes, reading and writing and study groups, a radio program and more to Illinois prisoners. Here is a list on their website of other resources about supporting prisoners and prisoner education.
  • Chicago Books to Women in Prison.
  • Liberation Library – sends books to youth in juvenile facilities throughout Illinois:
  • One strategy that has been powerful is forming a Support Committee for a particular prisoner. Here is an example: Support Committee for Ms. Afrika, a long-time member of Black & Pink and Black trans elder who left prison in February of 2016.  Video here.  Gofundme link with description of her support committee.
  • F2L “is a New York City based group of individuals doing support work for queer and trans people of color facing time in the New York State prison system. We fight for queer and trans people of color who have been charged with felonies and other high level offenses, and individuals who are appealing those convictions. We do this by resourcing individuals with commissary, housing, care packages, book, cash money, and more. We also provide media support, courtroom support, and general advocacy within state systems. F2L is a volunteer run project primarily made up of other queer and trans people of color in New York City. On Tumblr here.
  • Hearts on a Wire is a Philadelphia-based prison letter writing project. They published the report “This is a Prison, Glitter Is Not Allowed” which examines the experiences of queer and trans prisoners in Pennsylvania’s prisons.
  • TGIJP is an inspiring organization in the Bay Area run by and for trans people who are in prison now or were formerly imprisoned. TGIJP does support work and visiting and letter writing for people in prison and helps people coming out. Check out the model for the Melenie Eleneke Grassroots Re-Entry Program. TGIJP also has a strong history of court support for people facing criminalization and taking a stand against policing and prosecution, including the portray of police and prosecutors as “LGBT-friendly” for PR purposes.