Below is an alphabetical list of curated community programs based in California that serve children and families of the incarcerated.

Centerforce (started in 1971)

2955 Kerner Boulevard, 2nd floor, San Rafael, CA 94901; 415-456-9980;

Organization Website

Centerforce provides services that support, educate and advocate for individuals, families and communities impacted by incarceration.

Community Mentoring Connections

2427 N. Hwy. 49, Ste. 305, Sonora, CA 95370; 209-533-1397;

Organization website

Community Mentoring Connection is a regional program matching youth with incarcerated parents with caring adult mentors.

Families and Criminal Justice

Box 50-683, Los Angeles, CA 90050;

Organization Website

The Center conducts research, produces and distributes publications, provides technical assistance, trains professionals and offers direct services.The Center’s program of direct services includes educational services, therapeutic services and family reunification services.All services are free to children of criminal offenders and their families.

Friends Outside (started in 1955)

PO Box 4085 Stockton, CA 95204;; 209-955-0701

Organization Website

Programs and services for people impacted by incarceration, including children and families.  Programs include assistance with reentry and family reunification; parenting education, fatherhood programs, alternatives to violence and anger management for incarcerated people.

Get on the Bus (started in 2000)

6400 Laurel Canyon Blvd. Ste 304 North Hollywood, CA 91606;; 818-980-7714

Organization Website

Get On The Bus brings children and their caregivers from throughout the state of California to visit their mothers & fathers in prison for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Get On The Bus offers free transportation for the children and their caregivers to the prison. In 2015, we will bring about 1,500 children and their caregivers to 9 prisons throughout California.

Legal Services for Prisoners with Children (started in 1978)

1540 Market St, Suite 490, San Francisco, CA 94102;; 415-255-7036

Organization Website

LSPC organizes communities impacted by the criminal justice system and advocates to release incarcerated people, to restore human and civil rights and to reunify families and communities. We build public awareness of structural racism in policing, the courts and prison system and we advance racial and gender justice in all our work. Our strategies include legal support, trainings, advocacy, public education, grassroots mobilization and developing community partnerships.

Lifting Lives (started in 2001)

P. O. Box 94019, Pasadena CA 91109;; 626-376-5463

Provide mentoring, tutoring, counseling, and support to children whose parents are incarcerated.

Mentoring Works (started in 2012)

427 N. Hwy. 49, Ste. 305, Sonora, CA 95370;; 209-533-1397 ext. 229

Organization Website

Mentoring Works provides one-on-one matches in Amador and Tuolumne Counties between caring adults and children needing a friend.

POPS the Club (started in 2013)

4160 Lyceum Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90066;; 310-709-2484

Organization Website, Inc. is a nonprofit dedicated to creating and supporting clubs in high schools across the country for students whose lives have been touched by prison. We are arts-based, publishing POPS students’ works (writing and artwork) in annual anthologies. We support in-school clubs that offer camaraderie, nurturing, compassion, and community for those who too often carry around the pain associated with having an association to prison–those with loved ones who are or have served time and those who have themselves served time.

Project AVARY (started in 1999)

PO Box 150088 San Rafael, CA 94915;; 415-457-8799

Organization Website

National online support groups to children of incarcerated parents (CIPs). All participants, including counselors, are CIPs. The groups are free and fun. Youth can meet others going through similar experiences and develop leadership skills at the same time.

Santa Rita Inmate Services (started in 1990)

5325 Broder Boulevard, Dublin, CA 94583;; 925-551-6580

Organization Website

Provides parenting, life skills, and reunification training with enhanced visitation for program participants.

Start with a Story (started in 2007)

2450 Stevenson Blvd. Freemont, CA 94538;; 510-745-1511

Organization Website

Start With a Story”, a project of the Alameda County Library, delivers story times, free books, and family literacy activities to children, ages 1-16 years old, who visit their parents at jails in Alameda County. More than 125 children are served through this program each week.

The Place4Grace (started in 2009)

2441 N Sierra Way, San Bernardino, CA 92405;; 909-554-3919

Organization Website

The Place4Grace was founded in 2009 with the mission to restore families and advocate for children impacted by incarceration. Our programs serve families and children of incarcerated men and women with a focus on family reunification, literacy, providing an environment for extended father and child bonding time, advocacy, and restoration.Due to an overwhelming lack of programs available assisting fathers and mothers to maintain contact with their child while incarcerated, the Place4Grace’s programs are designed to ensure that strong family bonds between the children and their incarcerated parents are maintained and to ease the trauma in children caused by sharing their parent’s sentence. Our programs are also an important motivator for fathers and mothers to remain discipline free and to participate in positive programming, which lowers recidivism rates upon the parent’s release. Our services includes Camp Grace, Family2Child, Parent and Child Connection & Home2Stay.

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