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

If you are interested in becoming a pen pal, complete our brief application here.

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.