( Disclaimer: CURE provides these links as a public service but has no control over their content, availability or suitability for any particular purpose. If you wish to suggest a new link or report one that no longer functions, please contact us with that information.
Each state or issue chapter's web sites may contain additional resources more suitable to your location.
We believe that one of the best resources for non-partisan news covering the criminal justice system in America today is THE MARSHALL PROJECT (www.themarshallproject.org). “Our mission is to raise public awareness around issues of criminal justice and the possibility for reform. But while we are nonpartisan, we are not neutral. Our hope is that by bringing transparency to the systemic problems that plague our courts and prisons, we can help stimulate a national conversation about how best to reform our system of crime and punishment.”
“The Reentry Services Directory was developed by the National Reentry Resource Center (NRRC) to help individuals who have been incarcerated and their families find local reentry services.”
Click on link to a PDF of a 70-page report from the US Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education, Take Charge of Your Future: Get the Education and Training you Need, Washington DC, 2012. You can order this free publication by writing to: ED Pubs, Education Publication Center, U.S. Department of Education, P.O. Box 22207, Alexandria, VA 22304; or call toll-free: 1-877-433-7827 (1-877-4-ED-PUBS).
“The National Helping Individuals with criminal records Re-enter through Employment (H.I.R.E.) Network is both a national clearinghouse for information and an advocate for policy change.”
“Legal Action Center’s Criminal Justice Project reduces incarceration and promotes successful reentry through legal services and litigation, policy advocacy, technical assistance, and education.”
The Federal Bureau of Prisons website. Click on Resources link and select Ex-Offenders from drop down menu to navigate to reentry resources.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration GAINS Center.
- “The GAINS Center focuses on expanding access to services for people with mental and/or substance use disorders who come into contact with the justice system.”
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Restoration of Rights Project.
US Department of Veterans Affairs state-by-state resource: “Incarcerated Veterans Re-entry Guides contain information on resources and how to plan a successful reentry.”
Use website to locate information on government resources by county in the U.S.
"Reentry MythBusters are fact sheets designed to clarify existing federal policies that affect formerly incarcerated individuals and their families in areas such as public housing, employment, parental rights, Medicaid suspension/termination, voting rights and more."
Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator, "an on-line source of information for persons seeking treatment facilities in the United States or U.S. Territories for substance abuse/addiction and/or mental health problems."
“Prison Legal News (PLN), a project of the non-profit Human Rights Defense Center, is a 72-page monthly magazine that reports on criminal justice issues and prison and jail-related civil litigation, with an emphasis on prisoners' rights.”
Families Against Mandatory Minimums is an organization that advocates for “sensible state and federal sentencing reform.”
The National Prison Project of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
- “The National Prison Project is dedicated to ensuring that our nation's prisons, jails, and detention centers comply with the Constitution, domestic law, and human rights principles.”
“Established in 1986, The Sentencing Project works for a fair and effective U.S. criminal justice system by promoting reforms in sentencing policy, addressing unjust racial disparities and practices, and advocating for alternatives to incarceration.”
“The Prison Policy Initiative challenges over-criminalization and mass incarceration through research, advocacy, and organizing.”
“Reforming Sex Offender Laws, RSOL, envisions effective, fact-based sexual offense laws and policies which promote public safety, safeguard civil liberties, honor human dignity, and offer holistic prevention, healing, and restoration.”
“To the best of our knowledge (May 2013) this is the ONLY place on the Internet that covers news, general information, court cases, and related research for ALL 23 jurisdictions that civilly commit folks following their prison sentences in the United States.”
LEGAL RESOURCES AND CONDITIONS OF CONFINEMENT
Drugs Minus Two Retroactivity
Families Against Mandatory Minimums has an informative Frequently Asked Questions piece on the 2014 action by the U.S. Sentencing Commission to make the two-level reduction in drug guidelines retroactive. Certain federal drug prisoners can apply for a sentence reduction.
“Solitary Watch is a web-based project aimed at bringing the widespread use of solitary confinement out of the shadows and into the light of the public square.”
Published by the American Friends Service Committee, this links to Survivors Manual: How to Survive Solitary Confinement, “A manual written by and for people living in control units.”
“Clemency Project 2014 – a working group composed of lawyers and advocates - provide pro bono (free) assistance to federal prisoners who would likely have received a shorter sentence if they had been sentenced today. Clemency Project 2014 members collaborate to recruit and train attorneys on how to screen for prisoners who meet the criteria” outlined by the US Department of Justice.
“The Innocence Project is a national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted individuals through DNA testing and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice.”
A CURE SPECIAL ISSUE CHAPTER “The National Capital Crime Assistance Network works with innocent prisoners who are facing the death penalty, capital charges, or life without parole. We provide many essential services to these people and their families.”
National Capital Crime Assistance Network’s (NCCAN) Prisoner’s Resource Guide
WOMEN AND FAMILIES
The National Resource Center on Children and Families of the Incarcerated is “the oldest and largest organization in the U.S. focused on children and families of the incarcerated and programs that serve them.”
“Families for Justice as Healing focuses on raising public awareness about the incarceration of women and the impact on children and communities.”
“Women’s Prison Association works with women at all stages of criminal justice involvement. We promote alternatives to incarceration and help women living in the community to avoid arrest or incarceration by making positive changes in their lives.”
The National Institute of Corrections’ National Directory of Programs for Women with Criminal Justice Involvement.
“The Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth is a national coalition and clearinghouse that coordinates, develops and supports efforts to implement fair and age-appropriate sentences for youth, with a focus on abolishing life without parole sentences for youth.”
“The Campaign for Youth Justice (CFYJ) is a national initiative focused entirely on ending the practice of prosecuting, sentencing, and incarcerating youth under the age of 18 in the adult criminal justice system.”
ACCREDIDATION AND GOVERNMENTAL
“The American Correctional Association is a multi-disciplinary organization of professionals representing all facets of corrections & criminal justice, including federal, state, and military correctional facilities and prisons, county jails and detention centers, probation/parole agencies, and community corrections/halfway houses.”
The Bureau of Justice Statistics is a component of the U.S. Department of Justice and serves as the country’s “primary source for criminal justice statistics, including correctional populations and facilities.”
U.S. Department of Justice’s Disability Rights Section “works to achieve equal opportunity for people with disabilities in the United States by implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).” Call 1-800-514-0301 for information.
Link to Supreme Court website where you can order up to five free copies of recent Supreme Court decisions from the Office of Public Information, call 202-479-3211. Some recent decisions and their subject areas: Habeas: Lopez v. Smith 13-946; Christeson v. Roper 14-6873; Woods v. Donald 14-616; Davis v. Ayala 13-1428; Brumfield v. Cain 13-1433; Drug Offenses: Mellouli v. Lynch 13-1034; McFadden v. United States 14-378; Sex Offenses: Grady v. North Carolina 14-593; Excessive Force at Pre-Trial: Kingsley v. Hendrickson 14-6368; Arrest of Mentally Ill: City and County of San Francisco v. Sheehan 13-1412; Litigation by Indigent Prisoners: Coleman v. Tollefson 13-1333; Religious Rights in Prison: Holt v. Hobbs 13-6827. (Excerpted from CURE Newsletter Summer 2015)
- Alan Pogue's Book, Witness for Justice: The Documentary Photographs of Alan Pogue.
- www.prisonwriters.com - A website where prison writers demonstrate their talents.
Toll-free phone numbers (Excerpted from CURE Newsletter Summer 2015)
Below are sixteen national toll-free phone numbers (10 federal, 5 non-profit and one local government) answered by live operators. Have a family member, caseworker or the prison/jail librarian call, asking how the agency can help a returning citizen. Also, ask them to mail information to the person incarcerated.
- Fed Information in general: 1-800-333-4636 (ask for reentry programs in area where you plan to live)
- Education: 1-800-872-5327, they will mail information, such as Pell Grants.
- Employment: 1-877-872-5627, they can transfer you to the American Jobs Center in your state.
- Employment Discrimination: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 1-800-669-4000.
- Free Fed Grants: 1-800-518-4726.
- Health: 1-800-318-2596, and see healthcare.gov.
- Housing: 1-800-955-2232, Housing Choice Voucher (called Section Eight)
- Social Security: 1-800-772-1213.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA): 1-800-662-4357 (available 24 hours per day).
- Veterans: 1-800-273-8255, press #1.
- Welfare/Food Stamps: 1-800-221-5689
- Oxford Houses: 1-800-689-6411, self-supported addiction recovery program.
- Prison Fellowship: 1-800-206-9764 & 1-800-251-7411.
- Volunteers of America: 1-800-899-0089, housing and other services.
- Goodwill Industries: 1-800-GOODWILL, help finding a job.
- Call 2-1-1 for local help similar to federal numbers above.