Books and Publications

Updated 2021

Please bear in mind that the bulk of the information in this guide is actually on the Internet. A short summary of each website clipped out for this list does not even begin to do each entry justice, and many of the items on this list actually contain further lists. The number of prisoner resources out there are mind boggling, so don't be afraid to use Google if there is something you have in mind.

A caveat to this list is that this is the age of COVID 19. Many of these sites are temporarily closed or scaled back for the duration of the pandemic. They are included in this list anyway in anticipation of better days.

Computers connected to the Internet are not generally available in prisons, so it is up to friends, family, and advisers to dig out the needed information from each website, or to shoot off emails where needed.

Finally, there are no websites that require money or a login to access. If you encounter any problems with this list, feel free to contact Helen.

 

Antioch College Books to Prisoners Project

https://bit.ly/3hh2x6g
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Antioch College’s Prison Justice Library houses a small but robust collection of non-fiction, fiction, dictionaries and educational materials, composition notebooks and zines. We receive hundreds of letters per year from incarcerated people in Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Indiana requesting books of interest. Through volunteer book packing parties and a small, dedicated team of students, staff and faculty in PJI, we work to fill the requests and mail packages of educational materials.

We are currently accepting donations of books to send to prisoners. We do not accept romance novel genres or antique hardcovers. Our highest sought items include paperback dictionaries, thesauruses, writing guides, and books pertaining to law, history, biographies and authors of African American and Latin American descent, DIY (Do it Yourself projects), Gardening, Health and Spanish language materials.

Appalachian Prison Book Project

https://www.prisonactivist.org
PO Box 601
Morgantown, WV 26507
Email Address:
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The Appalachian Prison Book Project sends free books, hosts book clubs inside prisons in our region, and is leading an effort to bring for-credit college courses into prison. They provides books to prisoners in the Appalachian region only; KY, MD, OH, TN, VA, & WV.

Asheville Prison Books

http://avlpb.org
67 N. Lexington c/o Downtown Books & News
Asheville, NC 28801
United States

Sends free reading material to folks incarcerated in North Carolina and South Carolina, including county jails, detention centers, state prisons, and federal facilities. They do not have a catalogue, but try to match requests to books as best they can. Serves people in North Carolina and South Carolina only.

Athens Books to Prisoners

http://athensbookstoprisoners.weebly.com
30 1 st Street
Athens, OH 45701
United States
Email Address:
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Athens Books to Prisoners is a volunteer run organization that sends free books to prisoners in Ohio upon request. Serves people in Ohio only.

Book 'Em

http://www.bookempgh.org
Thomas Merton Center 5129 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
Phone Number:
412-361-3022 ext. 4
Email Address:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Book 'Em is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization that sends free educational books and quality reading material to prisoners in Pennsylvania only. Prisoners may request books by subject. May not be active due to covid. Sends books to individuals in Pennsylania only

Books Through Bars

http://booksthroughbars.org/
4722 Baltimore Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19143
Phone: 215-727-8170
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

BTB’s core program is distributing books and educational materials to individual prisoners in the Mid-Atlantic region, prison libraries across the country, and halfway houses throughout the greater Philadelphia area.

We only send books to individual prisoners in PA, NJ, NY, DE, MD, and VA.
Please request by topic (not exact title or author), and provide several areas of interest if possible. For example, African-American history, basic math, carpentry, how to draw.
Please be patient. We get so many requests that it may take a while to receive the books.
Please wait two months after receiving books before requesting again.

Books to Prisoners Programs

https://prisonbookprogram.org/prisonbooknetwork/
1306 Hancock Street, Suite 100
Quincy, MA 02169
617-423-3298
General Info:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Book Donations:
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Prison Book Program is a grassroots organization that exists for one purpose—to send free books to prisoners. We’ve been doing it since 1972.

Books are crucial to the political, spiritual, and educational development of all people. Most prisons do not allow family and friends to send books into prisons. They must come from a bookstore, publisher, online retailer or a program like ours. We serve over 10,000 prisoners each year.

The reading interests of the people we serve mirror the general population with a few exceptions.. They say that books offer escape, entertainment, and practical information.

We’ve also made special efforts to offer several types of special practical books:
Basic legal information for prisoners offered as part of our Legal Primer. This book was volunteer-written for Prison Book Program.
Dictionaries. Because this is our most requested and useful item, we buy more than 2000/year wholesale.
GED study guides

Many prisoners have written to us to say why books are so important to them. See the essays section of our blog to hear what they had to say. We also ask prisoners what they thought of the books they read. Their responses are quite interesting. Visit the book reviews section of our blog, to see what they had to say.

Books to Prisoners

https://www.bookstoprisoners.net/prisoner-publications/
Books to Prisoners
c/o Left Bank Books
92 Pike Street, Box A
Seattle, WA 98101

Books To Prisoners is a Seattle-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to foster a love of reading behind bars, encourage the pursuit of knowledge and self-empowerment, and break the cycle of recidivism. We believe that books are tools for learning and for opening minds to new ideas and possibilities, and engage incarcerated individuals with the benefits of reading by mailing tens of thousands of free books to inmates across the country each year. In 2015, the City of Seattle recognized Books to Prisoners as a Human Rights Leader.

If you write to us, we will send you 1-2 pounds of books at no cost.

Buddhist Inmate Sangha Pen Pal and Book Donation Project

https://pounceatron.dreamhosters.com/nichirenscoffeehouse.net/bodhisattva/inmates1.html
Buddhist Inmate Sangha
Betty Lu Buck
PO Box 6517
Brookings, OR 97415 USA
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We are an independent interfaith Sangha dedicated to providing spiritual support for Buddhists behind bars. We currently donate Buddhist books, magazines, videos and audio cassettes to prisons and inmates around the country upon request. Your donations of new or used books and literature on Buddhism and Eastern Philosophy are what make this possible! Thank you to ALL who have in the past or will in the future mail study materials to an inmate; or if you prefer, you can mail them to ChanterKyo/Betty for distribution:

California Lifer Newsletter

https://www.lifesupportalliance.org/resources
P. O. Box 277
Rancho Cordova, CA. 95741
1-916-402-3750
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Lifer-Line is a free, monthly publication of usually 6 - 8 pages, sent via email to more than 2000 email addresses of family and friends of lifers, who we hope will read the newsletter themselves, before printing and mailing it to their prisoner.

Lifer-Line covers new laws, policies and procedures affecting lifers, LWOP and long-term inmates along with some current events regarding parole suitability and successful re-entry into society.

California Lifer Newsletter is the oldest and most comprehensive publication devoted to lifers. Published Quarterly, the 50-60 page newsletter covers current court cases and decisions affecting lifers as well as new laws and policies from CDCR. Available by paid subscription only, It is mailed directly to lifers in all California prisons. Subscription rates are as follows:
Prisoners, 1 year = $35.
Prisoners, 2 year = $60.
Free Person 1 year = $99.
Combo, 1 Free; 1 Prisoner = $120.​

We make special arrangements with Public service agencies and prison law libraries.

Contact us by email for details.

California Prison Focus

http://newest.prisons.org/
4408 Market St. Suite A
Oakland, CA 94608
(510) 342-9560
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California Prison Focus monitors abuses and conditions inside California prisons, with a focus on the use and conditions of solitary confinement. Our California prison reports are based on written correspondence with California prisoners and prison visits. We disseminate our prison reports to the general public, to policy makers, media, allied organizations and activists, and to prisoners nationwide.

California Prison Focus quarterly newspaper, Prison Focus - free to people in solitary confinement - informs, educates and empowers it’s readers. The paper provides a platform for normally unheard voices, and a bridge fostering understanding and dialogue between people inside and outside prison walls.

Cell Door Magazine

http://celldoor.com
Cell Door Magazine
14985 Road 40.2
Mancos, CO 81328
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

THE CELL DOOR IS… a Magazine written for a free audience by prisoners or people who are family members or friends of prisoners. Open the cell door and meet the men and women behind bars. The Cell Door Magazine features articles that tell what the incarceration experience is like while in prison and how the ex-con fairs once s/he is back on the street. Topics include but are not limited to prison issues. Our goal is to develop an audience who reads THE CELL DOOR MAGAZINE for its educational and entertainment value and quality, learning in the process that prisoners are intelligent, personable, talented human beings.

SUBMISSIONS:

We will definitely consider all submissions, but keep in mind that this is a magazine for and about prisoners and related issues. We want to keep it that way. The contributor maintains the publication rights to his/her work. However, we often get requests from other publications for permission to reprint an article that has appeared in THE CELL DOOR MAGAZINE. Although we feel that it is beneficial to all for this exchange and greater exposure, we will contact the contributor before we give that permission. We operate in good faith and not for profit.

Areas of Interest:
News
Fiction
Comic Strip
Media Reviews
Art
Poetry
Opinion
Humor
New Books
Announcements
Crafts
Essays

We encourage all contributors to send us a resume, address and a picture. We have had one incident of plagiarism. Therefore, anyone submitting fiction that is not clearly autobiographical needs to provide us some assurance of authorship.

Writing Style:
We do not encourage soapbox opinion columns. What works best for our readers is to interlace personal experiences with the feelings these experiences stimulate. Factual researched information also exposes our readers to important information they may not be able to access in any other publication.

Chicago Books to Women in Prison

https://chicagobwp.org/
Chicago Books to Women in Prison c/o RFUMC
4511 N. Hermitage Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640

If you would like to mail us books, email us first at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

In this age of COVID-19, to protect the health of volunteers and the greater community, we’re closed in compliance with the stay-at-home order for Illinois.
We’re keeping up with mail and urgent tasks, but please, no drop-off book donations.

Questions? Please ask. Thanks for your ongoing support and stay safe.

Update at the beginning of June: Even though things are opening back up again, the building where we work is not open to us yet. Stay tuned!

Chicago Books to Women in Prison is an all-volunteer group that distributes paperback books free of charge to incarcerated people nationwide, focusing on all women and trans/non-binary people. We are dedicated to offering the opportunity for self-empowerment, education and entertainment that reading provides.

Currently we send books to state prisons in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio, as well as all federal prisons. We do not send books to jails and other short-term facilities outside Chicago.

Coalition for Prisoners’ Rights Newsletter

http://www.realcostofprisons.org/coalition.html
Coalition for Prisoners' Rights
P.O. Box 1911
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504-1911

The C.P.R has been publishing their Newsletter for 36 years. In June 2009 they decided they could no longer afford to mail the monthly newsletter to their 9,100 subscribers. The Real Cost of Prisons believes in the work of the C.P.R. To reach out to families, friends, allies of prisoners, we began posting the C.P.R. Newsletters in PDF format in July 2009. We encourage you to download the newsletter and send it to prisoners so that they will continue to receive this important source of information and inspiration for organizing that the Newsletter provides. To receive monthly issues by mail, send CPR a stamped self-addressed envelope with CPR as the return address. Up to 12 stamped self-addressed envelopes can be sent at one time.

DC Books to Prisoners

http://dcbookstoprisoners.org/
DC Books to Prisons
PO Box 34190
Washington, DC 20043
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Emailed requests for books will not be answered.

The U.S. has less than five percent of the world’s population, yet more than 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. Nearly one percent of American adults are incarcerated; the highest rate in the world. However, many prisoners have little access to books or educational material. Usually, prisoners are not allowed to receive books from friends or family. While some prisons have libraries, many do not. Of prisons that do, access and selection can be extremely limited. Programs like ours are one of the few options available to prisoners seeking books.
We serve state and federal prisoners in 34 states, and federal prisoners in Arizona. With the exception of DC residents in federal prisons, we do not serve inmates in CT, FL, IL, MA, ME, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OR, PA, RI, VT, WA, or WI.

East Bay Prisoner Support

https://eastbayprisonersupport.wordpress.com/
PO BOX 22449
Oakland, CA 94609
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East Bay Prisoner Support formed in 2007 as an prison abolitionist, anti-authoritarian collective. We establish solidarity with prisoners by providing free, radical political literature that is otherwise largely inaccessible behind prison walls. Our primary projects include distributing decolonial, queer liberation, anti-capitalist, black, brown and indigenous oriented literature to prisoners by request. We also send an abundance of resource guides relevant to the many struggles and needs that prisoners have. When possible, we strive to participate in local events as well as fundraising for prisoners who are a part of the struggle against all forms of domination.

If you send in a periodical to prisons, we encourage you to include our address below in your next publication so that people on the inside have an opportunity to request one of our catalogs.

FREE Prisoner Resource List

https://lionheart.org/free-prisoner-resource-list/
Naljor Prison Dharma
PO Box 628
Mount Shasta, CA 96067

In addition to the list provided on the following pages, Source Point Global Outreach provides a free 29-page Resource Directory for Prisoners. This directory provides correspondence courses for many religions and spiritual traditions, legal support, pen pals and more. Most organizations in the directory offer their services, books and literature free of charge to prisoners. To request a copy, write to us.

FREE BOOKS (BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE FOR ALL U.S. STATES UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)

Guidelines:
Let these organizations know the book restrictions in the prison where you are incarcerated: maximum amount of books they allow to be received at one time? Does the prison accept used books or new only? Paperbacks only?

List only the subjects or types of books of interest. Books are often donated and change every week. Distributors do their best to send something close to what you ask for. Requests by title or author are often challenging to fulfill.

Please write clearly — especially your name, ID number, and address. Include all this info on both the envelope and in your letter.

FREE Prisoner Resource List

https://lionheart.org/free-prisoner-resource-list/
Naljor Prison Dharma
PO Box 628
Mount Shasta, CA 96067

In addition to the list provided on the following pages, Source Point Global Outreach provides a free 29-page Resource Directory for Prisoners. This directory provides correspondence courses for many religions and spiritual traditions, legal support, pen pals and more. Most organizations in the directory offer their services, books and literature free of charge to prisoners. To request a copy, write to us.

FREE BOOKS (BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE FOR ALL U.S. STATES UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)

Guidelines:
Let these organizations know the book restrictions in the prison where you are incarcerated: maximum amount of books they allow to be received at one time? Does the prison accept used books or new only? Paperbacks only?

List only the subjects or types of books of interest. Books are often donated and change every week. Distributors do their best to send something close to what you ask for. Requests by title or author are often challenging to fulfill.

Please write clearly — especially your name, ID number, and address. Include all this info on both the envelope and in your letter.

Freebird Publishers

https://bit.ly/3nXCrrC
Box 541
North Dighton, MA 02764
Call us toll free
1-888-712-1987
Send Texts
1-774-406-8682

Freebird Publishers is based in Massachusetts (MA) and services the entire United States. We provide inmate services, prisoner publications, education for inmates, prisoner services, and other products for the incarcerated. We also offer self-publishing services to inmates and their loved ones.

Shop our publications including resource books, legal books and guides, how-to books, entertainment photo books, pen pal assistance and much more. Shop our selection of gifts including a line of Swarovski Crystal jewelry called Touchstone, huge line of custom gift baskets for every occasions and all budgets, plush animated/singing plush gifts, flowers, chocolates, perfumes, personalized gifts and more.

Freebird Publishers offers prisoner publications like Inmate Shopper, resource books, resource books, legal books and guides, how-to books, entertainment photo books, collectible artwork photos, and other niche items created for and by incarcerated individuals. Our goals are to help prisoners allowing them to better ready themselves and their families upon release and become a stronger person getting ready for reentry. We work with all inmates within all the levels Federal BOP, state prisons and county jails in the country.

Pay for books.

Human Kindness Foundation

https://www.humankindness.org/about-us/
Human Kindness Foundation
PO Box 61619
Durham, NC 27715
Phone (919) 383-5160 (M-F, 9-5 EST)
Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Prison-Ashram Project

In 1973 Ram Dass was sending his spiritual book Be Here Now into prisons and receiving countless letters back. People wrote about their personal transformations and also asked their tough spiritual questions.

Bo and Sita felt a personal connection with Ram Dass’s book as well as with the prison population because of their own brother-in-law who was incarcerated. So they teamed up with Ram Dass to help him reply to mail from people in prisons. Thus the Prison-Ashram Project was born.

The Prison-Ashram Project soon became Bo’s full-time job, which led him to write his first book of interfaith spiritual practices specifically for people who are incarcerated. That book, We’re All Doing Time, continues to be requested by hundreds of inmates on a weekly basis and continues to have a profound impact on people’s lives.
The Human Kindness Foundation

In 1987, the Human Kindness Foundation was founded to operate the Prison-Ashram Project. Sita continues to lead the program as the Spiritual Director alongside Catherine Dumas, the Executive Director. Bo passed away in 2012 but his words and work continue to be felt by thousands.

HKF is the publisher of We’re All Doing Time, Deep & Simple, Lineage & Other Stories, and Just Another Spiritual Book. We send these four spiritual books to people who are incarcerated around the world and receive many hundreds of letters each week.

Inside Books Project

https://insidebooksproject.org/
Inside Books Project
P.O. Box 301029
Austin, Texas 78703
512-655-3121
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Inside Books Project is an Austin-based community service volunteer organization that sends free books and educational materials to prisoners in Texas. Inside Books is the only books-to-prisoners program in Texas, where over 140,000 people are incarcerated. Inside Books Project works to promote reading, literacy, and education among incarcerated individuals and to educate the general public on issues of incarceration.

Left Bank Books

https://www.leftbankbooks.com/index.php
92 Pike St.
Box A
Seattle, WA, 98101
1-206-527-3339 (Back online, but with irregular staffing)
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Books To Prisoners is a Seattle-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to foster a love of reading behind bars, encourage the pursuit of knowledge and self-empowerment, and break the cycle of recidivism. We believe that books are tools for learning and for opening minds to new ideas and possibilities, and engage incarcerated individuals with the benefits of reading by mailing tens of thousands of free books to inmates across the country each year. In 2015, the City of Seattle recognized Books to Prisoners as a Human Rights Leader.

How to Request Books

To request books from Books to Prisoners, we ask that the person in prison send a letter including their name, prison ID number, and address to:

Books to Prisoners
c/o Left Bank Books
92 Pike Street, Box A
Seattle, WA 98101

We are currently unable to send books to short-term facilities or to men’s prisons in California.

LGBT Books to Prisoners

https://lgbtbookstoprisoners.org/
c/o Social Justice Center Incubator
1202 Williamson St., Suite 1
Madison, WI 53703
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We are a donation-funded, volunteer-run organization based in Madison, WI that sends books and other educational materials, free of charge, to incarcerated LGBTQ people across the United States. We have been doing this for over 10 years and have sent books to over 9,000 people in that time.

Louisiana Books 2 Prisoners

https://lab2p.org/
Louisiana Books 2 Prisoners
3157 Gentilly Blvd. #141
New Orleans, LA 70122

Louisiana Books 2 Prisoners is a 100% volunteer-run 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to encouraging literacy and supporting incarcerated people in the Deep South by providing access to books and print resources. Our goals are to make prison life more endurable and facilitate a connection between people locked up on the inside and free people on the outside. We affirm the right to read and access information, without judging people or their requests. We have no political or religious agenda and welcome all who value our mission.

We currently serve people who are serving time in the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, and Louisiana.

Midwest Books to Prisoners

https://bit.ly/3rw40tY

1321 N. Milwaukee Ave
PMB #460
Chicago, IL 60622
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Since 2004, Midwest Books to Prisoners has been engaged in direct support of incarcerated people and their educational goals by mailing them books, magazines, and other printed material free of charge. We believe that education is one of the most basic human rights, and accept requests from any and all inmates.

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Midwest Pages to Prisoners Project

https://pagestoprisoners.org/
PO Box 1324
Bloomington, IN 47402
812-727-0155
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Midwest Pages to Prisoners Project is an all-volunteer effort that strives to encourage self-education among prisoners in the United States.
By providing free reading materials upon request, we hope to promote critical thinking behind bars. We develop relationships so people on the outside can better understand and combat the injustices faced by folks who are incarcerated. We are aware the prison industrial complex targets people of color, in poverty, and in the LGBTQ community.
The project exists to alleviate a lot of the pain caused by the criminal justice system, and to provide a direct opportunity for self-education and collective struggle. Additionally, we exist because prison libraries sometimes fail in this respect: they are understocked or are only able to be patronized during specific and limited hours. We exist because prisoners are not strangers: they are brothers sisters, friends, cousins, mothers, and children.
Unfortunately, we now only have the financial and volunteer resources to send books to people in prisons, jails, and juvenile facilities in the following states: Arkansas, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and South Dakota.

NYC Books Through Bars

https://booksthroughbarsnyc.org/
Book requests
NYC Books Through Bars
c/o Bluestockings Bookstore
172 Allen Street
New York, NY 10002
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Connecting those behind bars to books and other resources is an important harm-reduction strategy. The violences of prison are many. The denial of access to education and contact with the outside world is one. With our work, we aim to address educational inequity. Prisons have slashed educational programs and the federal government still denies Pell Grants to those in prison. We provide education, but NYC BTB also bridges a gap between the incarcerated and the “free” world. Our work decreases isolation and empowers those behind bars by providing resources and community.
We fill requests from all states except AL, FL, LA, MA, MI, MS, NC, PA, OH, and WI, with a priority for NY

Paul Brunton Philosophic Foundation Prison Project

https://www.paulbrunton.org/prisonproject.php
Paul Brunton Philosophic Foundation
4936 NYS Route 414
Burdett, New York 14818
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 607-546-9342

The Prison Gift Project has enabled the Foundation to sent over 35,000 Paul Brunton Books, free of charge, to incarcerated men and women at their request. Interest in these books is high and increasing, with literally thousands of prisoners participating.

Multiple copies of What Is Karma? have been sent to anger management and other prisoner rehab programs throughout the U.S. We’ve responded to tens of thousands of personal requests for this book from prisoners all over the country. Recently we have added Meditations for People in Crisis and The Gift of Grace to the books available for selection. Word-of-mouth and notices in prison newsletters stimulate steadily growing interest. We also provide follow-ups with Perspectives and other Notebooks volumes as we can, as well as some works by Anthony Damiani for those who are interested.

Prison Book Program

https://prisonbookprogram.org/
Prison Book Program
c/o Lucy Parsons Bookstore
1306 Hancock Street, Suite 100
Quincy, MA 02169
617 423 3298
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Prison Book Program is a grassroots organization that exists for one purpose—to send free books to prisoners.

We’ve also made special efforts to offer several types of special practical books:
Basic legal information for prisoners offered as part of our Legal Primer. This book was volunteer-written for Prison Book Program.
Dictionaries. Because this is our most requested and useful item, we buy more than 2000/year wholesale.
GED study guides

Prison Book Project

https://prisonbookproject.org/
Prison Book Project
po Box 1146
Sharpes, FL 32959
321-269-4100
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We desire to introduce prisoners to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, help them build a firm foundation of faith, and equip them to minister to others, whether they remain in prison or are released.

Protestant Book Project
Jewish Book Project
Catholic – Roman Catholic Book Project
Military and Veterans Book Project
International Book Project

Chaplains and community Organizations please cont us if you are interested in distributing books to inmates children.

Prison Books Collective

https://prisonbookscollective.wordpress.com/
Prison Books Collective
PO Box 625
Carrboro, NC 27510
(919) 443-9238
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We send free books and zines to thousands of incarcerated people in North Carolina and Alabama every year.

Our mission is to reduce the isolation of imprisonment and provide resources for people directly impacted by mass incarceration in the United States.

The Prison Books Collective is a Chapel Hill, NC-based anti-prison group that sends hundreds of books to prisoners in the South each month, maintains an extensive radical ‘zine catalog, widely distributes a monthly poster promoting political prisoner support, and publishes prisoners’ art and writing. We also work to raise awareness about the prison-industrial complex in our own community and connect with others seeking to abolish this brutally racist and repressive system. We are an official commercial distributor and publisher.

Prisoner Express

https://prisonerexpress.org/
CTA / Durland Alternatives Library
Prisoner Express
PO Box #6556
Ithaca, NY 14851
You can contact us anytime by calling the Durland Alternatives Library at 607-255-6486

Prisoner Express creates an opportunity for incarcerated men and women to get information, education and a public forum for creative self-expression.

Through our newsletters and programs we step through the isolation and alienation of prison life – our goal is to bring hope and foster a sense of community among the prisoners who participate.
That’s how it began. From that point on we started sending books from the Durland Alternatives Library all over the United States. Once other volunteers got involved we started offering educational programs as well; history, math, and science, among other topics.

So many prisoners responded and wrote to say how they were going crazy from the strain of incarceration. Many of them were isolated like Danny – and the connection we were providing was clearly making a difference.

Our newsletters provided a way for prisoners to read each other’s writings. They provided a way for many prisoners to realize they were not alone – and through participation gained strength and understanding.

Rather than “going crazy” which is something hard to control, an awareness took hold that prisoners were in a crazy making environment. From this new understanding we could offer programs and tips on how to stay centered and balanced in difficult settings. Judging from the letters we received it was clear our programs were helping.

In just our second year we had over 500 people writing and I could not imagine how we would keep up – but we kept adapting and creating new programs. We began attracting volunteers and working to become as efficient as we could. Our goal has always been to provide low cost, high quality educational and creative programming for Prisoner Express subscribers.


Prisoners Literature Project

https://www.prisonlit.org/
Mailing address for U.S. prisoner book requests:
Prisoners Literature Project
c/o Bound Together Books
1369 Haight St
San Francisco, CA 94117

The Prisoners Literature Project is an all-volunteer, non-profit group that sends free books directly to prisoners who request them from throughout the United States. Working almost continuously for thirty years, our U.S. prison books program has gotten (literally) tons of books into the American prison system, while staying overwhelmingly ‘grassroots’ – no full-time employees, no overhead eating up your donations.

Providence Books Through Bars

https://sites.google.com/site/booksthroughbarsprovidence/
PRISONER REQUESTS:
BE SURE TO INCLUDE: Mailing address with Prisoner ID# as well as subject matter preferences.
Providence Books Through Bars
c/o Paper Nautilus Books
5 Angell Street
Providence, RI 02906
EMAIL: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Requests are received for reading materials from inmates nationwide. We fill the orders from our library of donated books. Most of our funding comes from fundraising and individual contributions.
Books are crucial to the political, spiritual and educational development of all people. Disadvantage has shackled the lives of nearly all of the over 2 million people currently in our nation’s “Corrections” system. The US Dept. of Education has determined that of the 2000 inmates released from prison every day, more than half of them have less than an eight grade education; they do not have the educational skill that they need to succeed in legitimate employment.

Read Between the Bars

https://readbetweenthebars.com/
Read Between the Bars
c/o Daily Planet Publishing
P.O. Box 44014
Tucson, AZ, 85733
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Sending Books to Stop the Revolving Door to Prison

Getting books directly into the hands of inmates is an important way of acting as their allies. Whether it fills an immediate need for comfort or diversion or inspires self-study or peer mentoring that prepares an inmate for reentry into society, a book can make a difference in an inmate's life.

Although our incarcerated population has a lower average literacy rate than the general population, only 9% of inmates with low literacy skills receive literacy training while incarcerated. Providing books to prisoners can fill a void where help is needed. It can also abate the challenges of life after prison. Adults with low literacy skills are more likely to be unemployed or live below the poverty line and also more likely to lack the social skills they need in life. For inmates who are rejoining society, this can increase their odds of reincarceration.

Slingshot Collective

https://slingshotcollective.org/
3124 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94705
510 540-0751
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Slingshot is a quarterly, independent, radical, newspaper published in the East Bay since 1988 by the Slingshot Collective. We also publish the annual Slingshot Organizer radical calendar planner. We are an all volunteer, non-profit, tax exempt project of the Long Haul.

Subscriptions are FREE to USA prisoners or USA low income persons — just let us know if you are either. Generally, we can’t afford to do free international copies, but of course you can ask for an exception.

We also send out FREE packages of the paper if you will distribute them for free to other folks in your area. You can be an individual, Infoshop, Food Not Bomb chapter or other organization, or a bookstore, or whatever. Just send us your mailing info.

Slingshot Newspaper is always on the lookout for writers, artists, editors, photographers, distributors and independent thinkers to help us put out this paper. If you have such skills and would like to contribute we’d greatly appreciate it. Photos of demos or of cool reworkings of the cultural landscape are especially welcome.

Student Insurgent

https://studentinsurgent.org/
The Student Insurgent
1228 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403
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The Student Insurgent is a consensus organized journalistic endeavor based at the University of Oregon in Eugene. We are a radical publication that seeks to deconstruct the existing social order and facilitate its replacement with one which is ecologically sound and functions on egalitarian lines. We agitate and educate the student body by addressing issues which are often ignored or marginalized. We strive to be an open forum -- somewhere the silenced and oppressed can express their ideas and opinions free from the filters of the mainstream media. We exist to challenge oppression, exploitation and hierarchical power structures.

Insurgent Prisoner Mail Project

The Insurgent mails out the newspaper to hundreds of prisoners across the country, and many of those prisoners respond with simple or complex asks, often for their essays to be transcribed, for their art to be uploaded and shared, or for additional newspapers. The Insurgent will need help processing and responding to these requests in the coming weeks. This project is in its growing phase, so patience with the process is appreciated, as is any expertise or advice. If you are interested in assisting in responding to and processing these letters and essays, whether you have experience corresponding to prisoners or not, please contact the Insurgent staff, and they will connect you with the other people working on this project.

The Angolite

https://files.deathpenaltyinfo.org/legacy/documents/AngoliteSubscriptionForm.pdf
Louisiana State Penitentiary c/o Cashiers Office
Angola, LA 70712
United States

The Angolite is published and edited by prisoners at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, LA. Subscriptions are $20 per year, $38 for 2 years, or $54 for three years. Write for order form.

Award winning magazine.

The Prison Library Project

http://www.claremontforum.org/category/prison-library-project/
The Claremont Forum
586 West First Street
Claremont, CA 91711
(909) 626-3066
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How to Request a Book

Inmates may write to the Prison Library Project twice a year. Please make sure that you include your inmate ID number when requesting books. The PLP does not process requests made by a third party, inmates must write directly to contact the PLP.

The Prison Mirror

https://www.mnhs.org/newspapers/hub/prison-mirror
Minnesota Historical Society
345 W. Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55102
651-259-3000
1-800-657-3773

The newspaper has served to help inmates develop their writing skills and gain experience in working on a publication. A report In the July 20, 1933 issue stated that "Most of the contributors to this paper entered prison with little or no knowledge of writing – fictionally or journalistically...The mere sight of their work in published form does more for these aspiring writers than could countless volumes." One editor said in 2017, "The population who we make the paper for, they view this as their outlet to be heard and want to see things that are important to them." Some writers for the Mirror went on to publish books, notably Frank Elli, who wrote The Riot, published in 1966 and made into a film in 1969. Author E. (Emil) Richard Johnson also served time at the prison and published several novels while incarcerated.

Throughout its long publication history, the Prison Mirror has been recognized by other newspapers for the quality of its writing and has won awards for the best prison newspaper in the United States several times. Special commemorative issues were published at the paper's centennial in 1987 and in 2012 on 125 years of publication.

Tranzmission Prison Books Project

https://tranzmission.org/programs/prison-project/
P.O. Box 1874
Asheville, NC, 28802

Tranzmission Prison Project sends books to GLBTQI prisoners across the United States. Due to profiling, prejudice, and marginalization GLBTQI people are incarcerated at higher rates than other populations. Transgender and gender variant people experience higher rates of unemployment and homelessness. This number increases exponentially if a person is not white, or from a family above working class. Often the only sources of income stem from criminalized activities. While strides are being made in many areas of inequality, we still feel compelled to support those who have been ignored and left behind.

Tulane University Law Library Catalog

https://library.law.tulane.edu
Tulane Law Library
6329 Freret Street
New Orleans, LA 70118-6231
Circulation Desk 504.865.5952
Reference Desk 504.862.8872

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Unchained Books

https://unchainedbooks.wordpress.com/about/
PO Box 784
Fort Collins, CO 80522
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Unchained Books is a small group in Fort Collins, CO committed to prisoner support. Our primary focus is collecting donated books and making them available free to people imprisoned in Colorado. Individual prisoners request books based on subject areas and we fill their requests as best as our inventory allows. We operate in solidarity with prisoners, working to ensure that people have the ability to pursue reading and communication in efforts to make meaning and purpose in life through self-determination, education, and expression. And we believe it is important to remind those in prison that others know of their existence.

In addition to the books-to-prisoners project, we also write letters to political prisoners and work on periodic individual prisoner support in the form of fundraising, outreach, and building community awareness about specific legal struggles.

Urbana-Champaign Books to Prisoners Project

http://www.books2prisoners.org/
UC Books to Prisoners
Box 515
Urbana IL 61803
(708) 782-4608

UC Books to Prisoners is an Urbana Illinois based project providing books to incarcerated individuals in Illinois at no cost by mail as well as through two county jail libraries which we operate.

Our volunteers interact with the incarcerated by reading their letters, selecting books from our collection of donated materials and sending books in response to their requests. We also staff the two lending libraries located in the Champaign, IL County jails.

Wisconsin Books to Prisoners Project

https://wisconsinbookstoprisoners.org/
The Social Justice Center
1202 Williamson St. #1
Madison, WI 53703
{ we're in the basement }
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Incarcerated people face significant barriers to being able to access books and information. Prison libraries are often antiquated and poorly funded, and educational and vocational programs for prisoners are nearly non-existent. WBTP volunteers love to read and want to ensure the same freedom for those living behind bars. We believe that books are tools for learning and can open minds to new ideas and possibilities.

Women’s Prison Book Project

https://wpbp.org/
Women’s Prison Book Project
3751 17th Ave S
Minneapolis MN 55407
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Since 1994, the Women’s Prison Book Project (WPBP) has provided women and transgender persons in prison with free reading materials covering a wide range of topics from law and education (dictionaries, GED, etc.) to fiction, politics, history, and women’s health. We are an all-volunteer, grassroots organization. We seek to build connections with those behind the walls, and to educate those of us on the outside about the realities of prison and the justice system.

These facts mean that women in prison have specific needs for particular kinds of information: material on families, children, women’s self-help, women’s health, and legal aid pertaining to women who fight back against their abusers. Many lesbian, bisexual, and transgender prisoners often have trouble obtaining information that is relevant to their lives. As new prisons are built to warehouse the growing number of incarcerated people in the U.S., the meager resources previously available to prisoners are being cut or limited. WPBP is one place where women/transgender persons in prison can obtain information that is often unavailable from any other source. WPBP works to support prisoners; and through that solidarity works to empower prisoners themselves and build connections through prison walls.

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