Resources: Free Books Programs

PARC corresponds with and mails a directory of these resources to prisoners, their friends and family members. We are often the first point of contact for people to connect with prisoners' rights organizations, community organizations, prison literature and arts projects, family and visiting resources, health care and legal resources, parole and pre-release resources, and the prison abolition movement.

 

Resource Category
Alabama Books to Prisons Project

Run through the Burdock Book Collective, this program fulfills book requests and manages a penpal program for people incarcerated in Alabama prisons. LGBTQA friendly: "As queers and allies ourselves, we aim to provide a space for personal expression and communication free from homophobia and transphobia."


Books, Magazines, and Publishers, Free Books Programs
Appalachian Prison Book Project

Sends free books and provides educational opportunities to people incarcerated in the Appalachian region. Serves six states: Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. You can request by topic area or title, and we will do our best to find a good book for you.


 


Books, Magazines, and Publishers, Free Books Programs
Asheville Prison Books

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.


Books, Magazines, and Publishers, Free Books Programs
Athens Books to Prisoners

Athens Books to Prisoners is a volunteer-run organization that sends free books to prisoners in Ohio only.


Books, Magazines, and Publishers, Free Books Programs
Big House Books

Sends books to Mississippians in prisons and juvenile detention centers. Every person has the right to educate oneself; lets make that a reality. Serves Mississippians only.


Books, Magazines, and Publishers, Free Books Programs
Books Behind Bars - New Jersey

A grassroots, volunteer-run prison abolition project that provides free books upon request to people incarcerated in New Jersey prisons.


Books, Magazines, and Publishers, Free Books Programs
Books Behind Bars - Virginia

Serves people incarcerated in Virginia only.  Write with requests for up to three books per month.  They will do their best to fulfill all requests, but c annot guarantee specific title availability. 


Books, Magazines, and Publishers, Free Books Programs
Books Through Bars

Free books across the Eastern Seaboard. Prisoners may request by topic (not exact title or author), and provide several areas of interest if possible. Sends to DE, MD, NJ, NY, PA & VA only.


Books, Magazines, and Publishers, Free Books Programs
Chicago Books to Women in Prison

All-volunteer, nonprofit organization that distributes paperback books (including Spanish books) free of charge to women in prisons nationwide, including transwomen in men's prisons. They send three books in a package. Please provide several options of genre or subject matter. Currently serves Cook County jail (no other short term facilities) and state prisons in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio, as well as all federal prisons. Expect delays during COVID-19.


Women's Organizations and Resources, Free Books Programs
DC Books to Prisoners

Request reading material by mail. Please request by prioritized subject and not specific book title (we rely on donations), and list prison restrictions if known. DC Books to Prisons responds to state and federal prisoners in AK, AL, AR, CA, CO, DE, GA, HI, IA, ID, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NM, NV, OH, OK, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WV, and WY as well as federal prisoners (only) in AZ and requests from DC residents in federal prisons in all states. Please wait 5 months between requests.


Books, Magazines, and Publishers, Free Books Programs

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