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 2018 Resource Guide.

Resource Category
Antioch College Books to Prisoners Project

Antioch College Books to Prisoners Project is a newly formed group committed to developing discourse and action related to incarceration and the criminal “justice” system. They provide free books and zines to incarcerated people in the US.

Free Books Programs
Appalachian Prison Book Project

The Appalachian Prison Book Project provides books to prisoners in the Appalachian region only; KY, MD, OH, TN, VA, & WV.

Free Books Programs
Books Through Bars

Sends free books to individual prisoners in DE, MD, NJ, NY, PA, VA, & WV only.  Prisoners may request by topic (not exact title or author), and provide several areas of interest if possible.

Free Books Programs
Books to Prisoners

Books to Prisoners provides free books to prisoners nationwide. Request by subject; very few religious or legal materials. Does not ship to prisons that require all books sent be new. No male California requests. Book requests only accepted by snail mail.

Free Books Programs
DC Books to Prisoners

Request reading material by mail. Please request by prioritized subject and list prison restrictions if known. Books shipped to all states except CA, CT, FL, IL, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, VT, WA, & WI. Please wait 5 months between requests.

Free Books Programs
Louisiana Books 2 Prisoners

Louisiana Books 2 Prisoners provides free books to women prisoners in any state, as well as to male prisoners in these four states only: AL, AR, MS, and LA. Letters from Louisiana and women prisoners are given priority, with all other letters answered in the order received.

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.

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.

Free Books Programs
NYC Books Through Bars

Specializes in political and history books, as well as literary fiction and other educational books with a priority for New York prisoners. Does not send religious literature. Fills requests from all states except AL, FL, LA, MA, MI, MS, NC, PA, OH & WI.

Free Books Programs
Prison Book Program

Sends books to prisoners in all states except CA, IL, MD, MI, NV, and TX. 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.

Free Books Programs