Useful Resources for Volunteers


Social Justice Phrase Guide – From The Advancement Project

Advancing a social justice agenda starts with being smart and deliberate in how we frame our discourse. The Social Justice Phrase Guide is your go-to tool to craft inclusive messages. Whether developing language for your organization, communicating through media platforms or engaging in personal discussions, follow these guidelines to successfully communicate across communities. A collaboration of Advancement Project, a multi-racial civil rights organization, and The Opportunity Agenda, a social justice communication lab, download the printable pamphlet here.

Download the full PDF guide here >

Guidelines for Conscientious Communications 

  1. Accurately and Respectfully Talk About People’s Identities, Situations, and Roles in Society
  2. Retire Outdated and Problematic Phrases and Metaphors
  3. Talk About Policies and Solutions in Realistic and Accurate Ways That Spur The Action Social Justice Advocates Want
  4. Lift Up Unity, Participation, and Cooperation Over Division, Extreme Individualism, and Competition
  5. Reinforce Prosperity Over Scarcity

An Open Letter to Our Friends on the Question of Language
Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions

Eddie Ellis, founder of the Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions, invites us to use humanizing language when referring to people with criminal records.

View Letter Here >

4 Easy Steps to Follow: 

  1. Be conscious of the language you use. Remember that each time you speak, you convey powerful word picture images.
  2. Stop using the terms offender, felon, prisoner, inmate, and convict
  3. Substitute the words PEOPLE and RETURNING CITIZENS for these other negative terms.
  4. Encourage your friends, family, and colleagues to use positive language in their speech, writing, publications, and electronic communications.

A Guide for Communicating About people Involved In The Carceral System

The Underground Scholars Initiative is made up of formerly incarcerated and system-impacted academics. The guide highlights preferred and appropriate language to discuss people and issues related to prison and incarceration.

View Article Here >

Concord Prison Outreach
2023 Volunteer Handbook

The purpose of this handbook is to contextualize the role as a volunteer inside Massachusetts prisons and jails. It provides information on incarceration in Massachusetts, the on boarding process, volunteer expectations, and polices and procedures.


Teaching in Prison: A Collection of Thoughts,
Dave Marsters
Journal of Correctional Education (1974-), Vol. 42, No. 4 (December, 1991), pp. 164-166 (3 pages)
Published By: Correctional Education Association

Learning to be a Prison Educator, Nicole Patrie
Journal of Prison Education and Reentry Vol. 4 No. 1, June 2017

Abstract: For many correctional educators, the learning curve upon beginning to teach in prisons can be steep. This paper explores issues that are encountered by correctional educators: culture shock, skill or knowledge gaps, and philosophical dilemmas. With experience as a correctional educator and administrator, the author presents a training and mentorship program developed as a result of correctional education expansion in Alberta, Canada. Formalizing the training and mentorship program has proven to be a successful structure under which correctional educators can be supported through all phases of their development.

Download Paper Here >


Why Correctional Education Matters
RAND research on correctional education—adult basic education, GED preparation, vocational training, and post-secondary education—looks at the effect correctional education has on recidivism and post-release employment and at its cost-effectiveness.


Make A Difference Today

Through time, or donation, you can make the difference in an individuals life and future both inside and outside of prison walls.