The Santa Cruz Barrios Unidos Prison Project is dedicated to providing cultural and spiritual education, support, and hope to incarcerated individuals. Our Prison Project advocates for prison policy reform and programs that reduce recidivism, support re-entry, and re-unify families. We also provide in-prison courses that assist in cultural education and violence prevention.

We work with our community to empower our incarcerated brothers and sisters by reconnecting them to their family, culture, and spirituality, through correspondence, educational programming, and special events.  We also provide opportunities for those who are incarcerated to give back through artwork, poetry, stories, or spoken word.


If your loved one(s) is (are) incarcerated, we accept art, poetry, stories, and spoken word submissions to add to our library. We display these works at events to show our community that there is a great deal of talent in prison.

Our mailing address for correspondence is: 

Santa Cruz Barrios Unidos
Prison Project
1817 Soquel Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA 95062.

Barrios Unidos' Interactive Prison Cell

The Barrios Unidos Prison Project has constructed a prison cell that can be utilized to teach and inform diverse segments of the population: youth, judges, educators, policy makers, and community members.  In constructing an interactive prison cell, we hope to bring insight and awareness on the realities of incarceration.  It will provide an opportunity for individuals to step into the environment, giving a sense of what it is like to be incarcerated.  We hope to encourage people to support alternatives to incarceration policy and legislation.

The model is a traveling interactive replica of a prison cell and visiting room.  We are bringing the model to schools, universities, courthouses, conferences, and other educational events.  It includes literature on the consequences of incarceration, prison policy, the prison industrial complex, alternatives to incarceration, the economics of incarceration, as well other pertinent information and statistics.  Not only are participants able to sit in the confines of the cell, to add to the sensory experience, the participants hear audio recordings of the on-going, day-to-day sounds of prison life.

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