One of the first projects Critical Resistance began were our Prisoner Mail correspondence programs. Now, each of our chapters correspond regularly with people locked in jails, detention centers and prisons. Chapters host prisoner mail nights and work parties, where volunteers outside the organization can come and help respond to mail from prisoners.

Prisoner mail is an essential part of Critical Resistance’s work building politicized relationships with imprisoned people. Through prisoner mail, we connect prisoners to different political, legal, health and study resources to fuel their resilience and resistance. Our prisoner mail programs have allowed the organization to build strong, long-term relationships with many prisoners over the years. Through these relationships Critical Resistance has been able to connect with imprisoned authors and artists for our inside-outside newspaper, The Abolitionist, as well as support prisoner-led resistance such as prisoner mutual aid efforts, hunger strikes and prisoner run study groups.

As part of our work building relationships with people locked up, our Prisoner Mail Programs help Critical Resistance send a holiday mailing every December to all of our contacts inside and connect prisoners to subscribe to our newspaper The Abolitionist. A few times, our mail programs have led to Critical Resistance creating more formal inside-outside study groups where prisoners and outside comrades engage in political education together.

Interested in supporting our prisoner mail programs? Contact a chapter nearest to you and join us!

  • Portland’s Prisoner Mail Program:
  • New York City’s Prisoner Mail Program:
  • Oakland’s Prisoner Mail Program: or sign up for our Volunteer List to get the information needed to attend!

Want to hear what prisoners have to say about the prison industrial complex, abolition and our movement?