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California Prison Focus

California Prison Focus works to abolish the California prison system in its present condition. We investigate and expose human rights abuses and all forms of discrimination in California prisons, with a focus on ending long-term isolation. We are committed to honoring the voices and strategies of prisoners and join their efforts to foster solidarity and empowerment. We believe in public education and direct action to achieve these goals. Tax ID 94-3229707


We stand up strong against the cruel and torturous conditions of the California prison system, and advocate for the immediate stop to all solitary confinement. We are an all-volunteer organization and operate entirely on individual donations and small grants.


California Prison Focus has several major areas of direct action: 

  • Quarterly Newspaper: Prison Focus, is distributed free to SHU prisoners, $6 a year to other prisoners, and $20 a year to former prisoners, their family members, activists, and friends of CPF. Our paper is primarily written by and for prisoners, their friends and families. Please visit our archive to download entire past issues for free or search for articles here. A donation of $20 or more ($6 for prisoners and free to those with SHU addresses) gets you a year-long subscription. 


  • Prison Visits: We travel regularly to Pelican Bay and Corcoran state prisons to uncover and disseminate information on the current conditions prisoners must endure. We have been interviewing prisoners in California’s SHU facilities since 1991. CPF has conducted over 50 visits logging more than 1,000 interviews primarily at Pelican Bay State Prison and Corcoran State Prison. We publish our findings in our newspaper, Prison Focus, and other publications. 


  • Prisoner Correspondence: We receive dozens of letters from prisoners each week. We always need help to sort through these letters, document them, and respond to prisoners' requests and needs.