Human Rights Pen Pal

We believe that the power of pen and paper can transcend prison walls

Becoming a Pen Pal

Looking for a way to take concrete action against the system of mass incarceration?

Become a Human Rights Pen Pal

As of August 2018, we are not accepting any new applications from pen pals outside the walls. The leadership team with input from our brothers inside the prison walls are restructuring the organization to better align to our mission, values, and purpose. If you are interested in volunteering with Human Rights Pen Pals, please email us at

Long-term isolation is one of the most inhumane aspects of the prison system in the United States.

Human Rights Pen Pal is a grassroots, racial justice community organization, in solidarity with the human rights of people in California’s solitary confinement cells.

HRPP has a wait list of over 100 people on the inside awaiting a community pen pal.

Through letter writing, HRPP promotes principled, mutually educational relationships between people in solitary confinement and supporters outside the prison walls.

Click here to download the Becoming a Pen Pal brochure (pdf)

We believe that the power of pen and paper can transcend prison walls.

Contact HRPP at


by Assata Shakur

I believe in living.
I believe in the spectrum
of Beta days and Gamma people.
I believe in sunshine.
In windmills and waterfalls,
tricycles and rocking chairs.
And i believe that seeds grow into sprouts.
And sprouts grow into trees.
I believe in the magic of the hands.
And in the wisdom of the eyes.
I believe in rain and tears.
And in the blood of infinity.

I believe in life.
And i have seen the death parade
march through the torso of the earth,
sculpting mud bodies in its path.
I have seen the destruction of the daylight,
and seen bloodthirsty maggots
prayed to and saluted.

I have seen the kind become the blind
and the blind become the bind
in one easy lesson.
I have walked on cut glass.
I have eaten crow and blunder bread
and breathed the stench of indifference.

I have been locked by the lawless.
Handcuffed by the haters.
Gagged by the greedy.
And, if i know any thing at all,
it’s that a wall is just a wall
and nothing more at all.
It can be broken down.

I believe in living.
I believe in birth.
I believe in the sweat of love
and in the fire of truth.

And i believe that a lost ship,
steered by tired, seasick sailors,
can still be guided home
to port.