Free books for inmates

Posted: July 25, 2013 in Resources

Face it. Prison life is boring.

Fortunately, there are volunteer organizations–throughout the U. S.–that provide free books to make the long hours of an inmate’s day pass more productively.

A few things to remember:

  • Some programs allow only inmates to request books; others permit requests from family or friends.
  • Several organizations serve specific states or regions; while others send books to any U.S. prison.
  • Certain states ( CA, IL, MD, MI, NV, TX) or prisons do not participate in free book programs. Check with your local prison.
  • Books include topics such as GED preparation, dictionaries, books by and about people of color, African-American, Mexican, and Puerto Rican history, legal, self-help, Spanish, and novels.
  • Some programs require you to fill out a request form; while, some accept letters.

Check these out:

Books to Prisoners (serves prisons throughout U.S.)
c/o Left Bank Books
92 Pike Street, Box A
Seattle, WA 98101                                                                                                                                          (206) 622-0195

Prison Book Program (serves prisons throughout U.S.)
c/o Lucy Parsons Bookstore
1306 Hancock Street, Suite 100                                                                                                                 Quincy, MA 02169                                                                                                                                     (617) 423-3298                                                                                                                                            NOTE: Visit http://www.prisonbookprogram.org for a listing of “Other Books-to-Prisoners Programs” under Resources.)

Women’s Prison Book Project                                                                                                                        c/o Boneshaker Books                                                                                                                                    2002 23rd Ave. S                                                                                                                                            Minneapolis, MN 55404                                                                                                                                No phone provided (Visit http://www.wpbp.org)

To restate the United Negro College Fund’s motto: A(n) (inmate’s)…”mind is a terrible thing to waste.”

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