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.

Download a PDF copy of the 2022 edition linked here.

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

The Appalachian Prison Book Project (APBP) sends free books and provides educational opportunities to people incarcerated in the Appalachian region. We serve 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 and trans people in prisons nationwide. They send three books in a package. Please provide at least five general options of genre or subject matter. Currently serves state prisons in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio, as well as all federal prisons. The only jail they serve is Cook County Jail. Expect delays during COVID-19.


Libros en español también


 


Women's Organizations and Resources, Free Books Programs
Connecticut Prison Book Connection

CT Prison Book Connection is an all-volunteer run organization that sends free books to prisoners across the United States. All books are donated from various sources. Individuals may request books by subject/genre. Please request multiple topics of interest in order to get something desired. Books in different languages are provided but are on a first come first serve basis and are very limited in number.


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

Request reading material by mail. lease 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
Great Falls Books Through Bars

All volunteer group that distributes books to contribute to the education, entertainment and support of incarcerated people. Will read requests and find the closest matches they can among their book collection.


Books, Magazines, and Publishers, Free Books Programs
Inside Books Project

Sends free books and literature to prisoners in Texas only. Also sends a very informative prisoner resource guide free to prisoners in all states. Send two stamps, or pre-addressed stamped envelope containing two stamps for a copy of their resource guide. Serves people in Texas prisons only.


Books, Magazines, and Publishers, Free Books Programs
Ithaca College Books Thru Bars

Set within Ithaca College, this group works to send reading literature to incarcerated individuals as well as raise awareness of issues related to incarceration. Serves NY, NY, VT, MA, RI, CT, NJ, and PA. Include a request for a genre, author, or title and any mailing restrictions for you facility.  Requests will be honored as best as possible. Be patient for response as they only pack and mail twice per semester.


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

Volunteer-run organization that sends books and other educational materials, free of charge, to LGBT-identified people in prison across the US (except those in TX). Will send books in Spanish (enviar libros en Español). Sends up to two packages and books per year.  Prefers requests by topic/genre, but can occasionally fulfill specific requests. Serves all states except Texas.


Books, Magazines, and Publishers, Free Books Programs
Liberation Library

The only organization that provides books of their choosing to youth in Illinois prisons. Volunteer-run. Write for a catalog of options.


Books, Magazines, and Publishers, Free Books Programs
Liberation Lit

Abolitionist group of volunteers sending books to individuals incarcerated in Missouri and Kansas only.  Also runs a small pen pal program.


Books, Magazines, and Publishers, Free Books Programs
Lopez Books

New as of 2022! Books to prisoners program serving Washington and Alaska only. Send with general requests by genre and/or topic.


Books, Magazines, and Publishers, Free Books Programs
Louisiana Books 2 Prisoners

Louisiana Books 2 Prisoners sends books to people who are locked up in jails, prisons, and ICE facilities in Louisiana, Alabama, and Arkansas. Write for book request form, or have a comrade print and mail to you.


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

Ships free books directly to prisoners in Kentucky and Virginia only. Request reading material by prioritized subjects and list facility restrictions if known. Serves Kentucky and Virginia only.


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

Midwest Books to Prisoners is staffed by volunteers who collect book donations, read letters, pack packages and solicit donations. Books are sent to prisoners in the following states: IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, NE, OH, ND, SD & WI.  Unfortunately, due to policy restrictions by MDOC and INDOC, we cannot send books to Minnesota or Indiana state prisons at this time.


Books, Magazines, and Publishers, Free Books Programs
Midwest Pages to Prisoners Project

Midwest Pages to Prisoners provides free books and zines to prisoners in these ten Midwest states only: AR, IA, IN, KS, MN, MO, ND, NE, OK, & SD. In your letter, please tell us what type of reading material you are interested in—sharing subjects and genres of interest is most helpful. 


Books, Magazines, and Publishers, Free Books Programs
Missouri Prison Books Program

All volunteer organization that sends free books on request to incarcerated people in Missouri.


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

Has a large assortment of fiction and non-fiction, including political and history books, and other educational books. Does not send religious texts. Fills requests from all states except AL, FL, LA, MA, MI, MS, NC, PA, OH & WI, and has a priority for New York prisoners.


Books, Magazines, and Publishers, Free Books Programs
Oklahoma Prison Books Collective

Sends books to all incarcerated people in Oklahoma. Will try to fulfill specific requests as best as they can, but best is to make a general
request by topic. Only sends paperback books.


 


Books, Magazines, and Publishers, Free Books Programs
Open Books & the Prison Book Project

The Prison Book Project sends free books to indigent prisoners in Florida prisons. Write with categories of books you would like. Serves people in Florida only.


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

All-volunteer non-profit organization that sends free educational books  nd quality reading material to prisoners in Pennsylvania only. Formerly Book 'Em. Request books by subject/genre (they usually can't fill specific book requests by title).  Sends books to individuals in Pennsylvania only.


 


Books, Magazines, and Publishers, Free Books Programs
Prison Book Program

National books to prisoners organization. Offers a free 6-page “National Prisoner Resource List,” and a free resource list for LGBTQ. Does not send books or any other materials to any jails. Books may be delayed up to 4 to 6 months. Allows two book shipments per year.  Serves people nationally EXCEPT CA, IL, MD, MI, NV, and TX, as well as some other individual prisons.


Books, Magazines, and Publishers, Free Books Programs
Prison Books Collective Publishing and Distribution

The Prison Books Collective Publishing and Distribution is a ooks-to-prisoners nonprofit based in Carrboro and Durham, NC, that sends books to prisoners in Alabama and North Carolina and maintains an extensive zine catalog available across the US. PBC sends books to incarcerated men in NC and incarcerated people of all genders in AL, sending literature into federal, state, and county facilities. (Women in NC should mail the NC Women's Prison Book Project.) PBC sends zines across the nation; our catalog, available online or by mail, includes radical essays, guides, games, and Words of Fire, our literary magazine of art and writing by incarcerated people, which is always accepting submissions.


Books, Magazines, and Publishers, Free Books Programs
Prison Library Project

Sends free reading materials to individuals nationwide. The goal is to promote literacy, personal responsibility, reflection, and growth. The project is led and sustained by volunteers.


Books, Magazines, and Publishers, Free Books Programs

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