Prisoner Advocacy Network Intake Form

The Prison Advocacy Network is a volunteer network of attorneys, legal workers, law student, activists, and family members collaborating with people in solitary confinement and similar conditions of administrative segregation, adjustment centers and gender-based segregation in California prisons on advocating for their humanity and rights.

Our focus is narrow and specific — supporting people in California’s solitary confinement and similar conditions of isolation such as security housing units (SHUs), administrative segregation, and gender-based segregation. We prioritize advocating for jailhouse lawyers and those engaged in political activity.

Volunteers will advocate for individual prisoners and their loved ones experiencing discrimination, retaliation or a lack of upholding of their rights as well as gather evidence and documentation of the conditions of torture and violations of human rights prisoners in the SHU and like-conditions face. For more information, please visit our website at

If you know of an incarcerated individual who falls within the scope of our services, please fill out the following form and someone from PAN will contact you. You may also print out a paper form to fill out, which can also be sent inside to California prisoners, along with this brochure.

Important Information PAN cannot work with every person who writes to us. We prioritize people who are activists and suffering extreme conditions, solitary, or emergency issues. We train and match advocates with correspondents twice a year (usually September & February). We will do our best to recruit a qualified advocate for you if your issues fit within PAN’s scope. Please send legal mail to the address below. We will copy, scan, file, and return any original materials you send. NOTE: IT MAY TAKE UP TO 5 WEEKS FOR PAN TO PROCESS MAIL. PLEASE SEND PAN COPIES, EVEN IF HANDWRITTEN, INSTEAD OF ORIGINALS IF THE ORIGINAL IS NEEDED FOR A TIME SENSITIVE DEADLINE (e.g., due back to CDCR for as a higher level appeal within 30 days of the day you mail the letter to PAN).

Prisoner Advocacy Network
National Lawyers Guild, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter
Rachel Lederman, Esq. CASBN #130192
558 Capp St. San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 285-5067, Fax (415) 285-5066
You can find this number and confirm a prisoner's address at the CDCR inmate locator:
e.g., daughter, wife, volunteer in receipt of letter from X organization, etc
Optionally, list any demographic information about the prisoner you believe to be relevant, e.g., gender identity, sexual orientation, race, disability, HIV status, etc.
Check all that apply
When did issue(s) start or incident(s) occur? How long has it/have they been going on?
CDCR staff will ask us this, and will try to screen out complaints if no 602 or other paperwork has been filed
On September 1, 2015, the parties in the class action lawsuit Ashker v. Brown announced an intended settlement. Under the settlement’s policies, individuals can no longer be held in the SHU for indeterminate amounts of time. The policy states that time in Pelican Bay SHU is capped at five years, absent extraordinary circumstances. Additionally, the SHU placement process has changed. Now CDCR must find someone guilty of a disciplinary violation or behavior in order to be eligible for SHU placement (as opposed to accuse them of gang membership). Previously, individuals were put in the SHU indefinitely for their political affiliation, or association with a “security threat group,” as defined by CDCR policy. For those who are currently serving an indeterminate term, the proposed settlement puts a process in place to get out.
This includes class action cases, any current criminal cases, criminal appeals, or a civil suit for conditions or otherwise.
You may upload an intake letter from the prisoner here. The scanned letter must be in pdf format and no more than 2 MB.