Prisoner Advocacy Network

The Prisoner Advocacy Network (PAN) works to support people incarcerated in California State Prisons. PAN focuses on supporting people in prison who have severe unmet needs, including people in solitary confinement, security housing units, administrative segregation, and gender-based segregation. PAN provides non-litigation advocacy for incarcerated people experiencing discrimination, retaliation, medical needs, and civil rights violations. PAN is especially interested in working with activists and jailhouse lawyers who are advocating for their rights from the inside.

Berkeley Law students will be trained to correspond with and assist incarcerated individuals in advocacy efforts. Tasks will vary according to the needs of the correspondent, but may include phone calls and letters to prison and health care officials, assisting individuals with filing administrative appeals, filing complaints, providing resources or research, and public records requests. The advocate may travel to the prison to meet their correspondent and better understand the correspondent’s needs. The advocate may also participate in higher-level activities like identifying trending human rights violations at prisons, writing template letters for typical issues correspondents face, and researching and responding to governmental regulations and other policy changes impacting the incarcerated.

PAN is a SLP for law students who want to learn first-hand about the challenges faced by people incarcerated in California State Prisons.

Supervision: Students will receiving training from and be supervised by attorney members of the National Lawyers’ Guild of San Francisco.  

Time Commitment: Participation in PAN requires at least an 18-month commitment in order to ensure a seamless transition for your correspondent’s issues to a new advocate if necessary.

Fall Semester total estimate: Spring Semester total estimate:
4 hours of training  10 hours for a prison visit (optional)
10 hours for group workdays    10 hours for group workdays
20-30 hours of correspondence & research   20-30 hours of correspondence & research

The time commitment varies depending on the needs of your correspondent. PAN will attempt to spread the work evenly and flexibly so that correspondents with greater needs have more than one advocate. 

This SLP requires committed, self-motivated students who are looking for more than 25 pro bono hours for the year. The work is extremely rewarding and eye-opening for individuals interested in learning first-hand about the California criminal punishment system.

For more information, please contact the student leaders at

We are grateful to our supporters:

Julie Hess
Loren S. Lewallen
David B. Oppenheimer
Select Equity Group, Inc.