Exterior of San Quentin State Prison

How Can You Help People in Prison Right Now?

By Mount Tamalpais College | June 26, 2020

As the COVID-19 outbreak at San Quentin rapidly spreads, we are working to mobilize the resources and networks we have access to in order to protect incarcerated lives.


  • Increase the visibility of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people by sharing their advocacy efforts and publications widely, and support their work.
  • Donate to the Prison University Project’s general operations. We are uniquely positioned to support and advocate for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people during this crisis and will continue to provide supplies and educational materials to people inside.
  • Donate to our COVID-19 Care Package Initiative. After a successful delivery of care packages to all 3,900 people incarcerated at San Quentin and a second round of packages to Avenal State Prison, we are now working to raise the funds to send another package to people at San Quentin.
  • Donate to Bonafide, a reentry organization led by the Prison University Project’s Director of Operations David Cowan. Bonafide helps people inside prepare for release, and then supports them from the moment they leave prison—even greeting them at the gate with essential supplies like cell phones, hand sanitizer, and clothes, and then providing social and psychological support in the days, weeks, months and years after.
  • Contribute to Re:store Justice’s Canteen Fund (or here) to help incarcerated individuals buy hygiene products, cleaning supplies, and nutritious food. (People who participate in San Quentin programs should be sure to donate anonymously, to avoid any concerns about “overfamiliarity.”)
  • Write to Prison University Project students inside by sending a message of support to info@prisonuniversityproject.org with the subject, “Message for Students.”


Remain informed about inside conditions and response efforts by exploring the following organizations and resources:

Please note that the Prison University Project became Mount Tamalpais College in September 2020.