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Family and Friends

You have one of the toughest and most important roles to play in reentry! The effort of supporting a family member or a friend as they make the transition from prison to society can be time-consuming, emotionally challenging and extremely difficult. If your loved one or friend is currently incarcerated, please check out the links and tools we have found to support you.

NEW RESOURCE: Send letters to loved onesameelio



Ameelio has an app that you can use to send free letters or photos through the postal service.  The company says: “Whether it’s images, postcards, or games, send them for free. We’ll print and mail it for you.”

Fair Shake has received several responses from incarcerated folks saying the app works very well.  I cannot promote an app, however,  without including this:

APP REMINDER: Companies that offer “free” services through ‘apps’ capture lots of data from your phone. 

       When it the product is free, you are the product.

UntitledChildren of Incarcerated Parents– A Bill of Rights
San Francisco, CA


ParentingReaching Beyond Bars – Handbook for Families of Prisoners       WI


RIStaying Connected and Staying Strong Handbook


Directory of Programs Serving Children and Families of the Incarcerated

Programs in States from ALABAMA – MISSISSIPPI (Maintained on the Rutgers University website.)

Programs in States from MONTANA – WYOMING      (Maintained on the Rutgers University website.)


High School club for Children with Incarcerated Parents:

POPS the Club (Pain Of the Prison System)  http://popstheclub.com/ 

Providing community and supporting teens with loved ones in prison.

Our high school-based clubs meet weekly to nourish, empower, heal and inspire through creative expression and emotional support. We provide students with the tools and confidence to educate the broader community. Our core work takes place during weekly POPS the Club meetings where participants break bread and break their silence. Following their communal meals, students benefit from the wisdom of guest speakers, from opportunities for writing and making art, from conversation and from mindfulness exercises.

Links for Families of Prisoners

Family Transportation to Prisons

Information available on Fair Shake:



Everything in this section available Online Only

Directory of Programs Serving Children and Families of the Incarcerated

View Programs in States Alabama-Missouri
View Programs in States Montana-Wyoming (including Washington, DC)
View Programs offering National services

The Safer Society Foundation and the Fay Honey Knopp Institute


Resources for Families http://www.safersociety.org/foundation/

The mission of the Safer Society Press is to help build a society safe from sexual abuse and personal violence. The mission of the Fay Honey Knopp Institute is to minimize the harmful impact of parental incarceration on American children and families.

Supporting Children and Families of Prisoners

From the Dept. of Health and Human Services


Parenting Issues During Incarceration

Services to Children and Families of Prisoners

Online Support Forums

Daily Strength http://www.dailystrength.org/c/Families-of-Prisoners/support-group

Prison Talk http://www.prisontalk.com/

Prison Talk: for parents with children in prison

Girl Scouts Beyond Bars for Girls and Moms


Assisting Families of Formerly and Currently Incarcerated Individuals

Visiting Tips:



Coping Strategies


How to Change a Child Support Order – State by State


(note: some states do not allow incarcerated parents to decrease, defer or delay child support payments

Forever Family: Surround Children with the Love of Family!


Strong Prison Wives & Families

Strong Prison Wives & Families is an empowered and encouraging community where the wives, girlfriends, partners, family members and friends of the incarcerated are the writers and readers.http://www.strongprisonwives.com/

Project W.H.A.T. (We’re Here And Talking) For Teens!


Support for Children and Families By State


Arkansas Voiceshttp://www.arkansasvoices.org/


Friends Outsidehttp://www.friendsoutside.org/

San Francisco: Children of Incarcerated Parents http://www.sfcipp.org/


Chillicothe Correctional Center – Program for children and their incarcerated moms

New York

NY State: The Osborne Associationhttp://www.osborneny.org/index.cfm


Oregon Dept. of Corrections – Children of Incarcerated Parents Project


Assisting Families of the Incarcerated http://www.afoi.org/

Other Resources to Support Loved Ones in Transition


Current & Accurate Re-Entry Resources for anywhere in the United States (updated in real-time) Resource Database: http://rzero.org/resource-database-2

Ban the Box Campaign

National Employment Law Project (NELP):

Fair Chance – Ban the Box toolkit: to help advocates launch their own fair chance, “ban the box” campaigns locally. Check out the new, comprehensive toolkit at https://www.nelp.org/publication/the-fair-chance-ban-the-box-toolkit/. You’ll find NELP’s Fair Chance Factsheet , Best Practices and Model Policies, Research Summary, City and County Guide, the latest State Guide, and many other resource

Veterans Page


The veterans’ page was created to assist veterans who have been Incarcerated as well as their families. The programs and resources on this page can help reduce the pressures associated with reentry. Our hope is that you will find these resources helpful in providing relief as you face the challenges of finding and supporting an effective  way of life after incarceration.Thank you for your service to our country.

Currently and Formerly Incarcerated Authors Page


We’ve created this page to showcase literary accomplishments of the incarcerated and formerly Incarcerated authors. In support of these individuals and all successful transitions, we have vetted and recommended the books on our Currently and Formerly Incarcerated Authors page.


Everything in this section available Online Only

Prison Activist Resource Center


Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants / C.U.R.E.

American Civil Liberties Union: Key Issues

Families Against Mandatory Minimums / FAMM

The Sentencing Project

Higher Ed scholarships for Children with Incarcerated Parents

  1. ScholarCHIPS

  2. www.scholarCHIPSfund.com. ScholarCHIPS provides college scholarships and a support network for children of incarcerated parents, inspiring them to complete their college education.

  1. Ava’s Grace Scholarship Foundation www.avasgrace.org . They award scholarships to children with parents incarcerated in the federal prison system.

  1. Miami-Dade Scholarship   http://www.mdc.edu/financialaid/scholarships/american-dream.aspx   The American Dream Scholarship helps the dream of higher education become a reality. This scholarship picks up where other aid and scholarships leave off, ensuring that bright, qualified students have the means to continue their education. The scholarship is made possible by the generosity of members of the Greater Miami community.

  1. Children Impacted by Crime Scholarships   https://www.writeaprisoner.com/inmate-victim-scholarship/The Children of Inmates Scholarship Fund and the Children as Victims Scholarship Fund will award annual scholarships to students who are pursuing a college education.

  1. College Success Foundation  https://www.collegesuccessfoundation.org/   Our college services program provides support to increase college graduation rates for low-income students. CSF Scholars have attended colleges in every state of the nation.

  1. Give Back.    https://www.giveback.ngo/  Give Something Back is a mentoring and college scholarship organization that serves students who have faced economic hardship and other adversity, including the incarceration of a parent or placement in the foster care system. So far, Give Back has provided more than $35 million in scholarships to more than 1,500 scholars at partner colleges and universities across the country and is on track to triple that number.

  1. Children of Inmates Scholarship Fund https://writeaprisoner.com/children-impacted-crime-scholarship-funds  The Children of Inmates Scholarship Fund and the Children as Victims Scholarship Fund will award annual scholarships to students who are pursuing a college education.

  1. Gates Millennium Scholars   https://www.gatesfoundation.org/  To reduce financial hardships faced by children of low income families. Aimed at African American, Hispanic American, Native American/Alaskan Native, and Asian Pacific Islander American, this scholarship helps students from low income families complete their undergraduate degrees. Students who complete their undergraduate degree may then ask for additional funding for graduate school if they plan to major in education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health, or science.

  1. Scholarships for Low Income Families    http://www.collegescholarships.org/scholarships/low-income.html

  1. The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Scholarship  https://www.jkcf.org/our-scholarships/   These scholarship programs are designed to encourage and support outstanding students who work hard, demonstrate a strong will to succeed, and have financial need. Our scholarships provide financial assistance and academic support to high school, undergraduate, and graduate students.

  1. Unmet Needs Scholarship   http://www.thesalliemaefund.org/smfnew/scholarship/index.html    As a part of the Sallie Mae Scholarship Funds, the Unmet Need Scholarship Program is available to low-income families with a combined income of less than $30,000. This scholarship ranges from $1,000 to $3,800 and is intended as a supplemental scholarship to fill an “unmet” financial aid need of $1,000 or more. It is available to students who are U.S. citizens, enrolled full-time as an undergraduate at an accredited college or university.

  1. United Negro Scholarship Fund https://www.uncf.org/students  Our support takes many different forms. From merit scholarships to financial assistance, on-campus assistance to professional development, emergency financial aid to community support, UNCF is committed to getting more students like you to and through college.

  1. Creative Corrections Education Foundation   http://ccefscholarships.org/

  2. CCEF provides scholarship and financial aid opportunities to children of the incarcerated and at-risk young adults to enroll in college, trade school and certificate courses.

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Other Resources to Support Loved Ones in Transition

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Find support for families with an incarcerated parent, support for family reunification, reentry resources and more in our Resource Directory!




Reentry Packet Create a Reentry Packet, including resources you select from our Resource Directory!



Culture Shock! Consider the differences between incarceration and employment environments.