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
Appalachian Prison Book Project

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.

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 upon request. Serves people in Ohio only.

Books, Magazines, and Publishers, Free Books Programs
Book 'Em

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, 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
Books to Prisoners (Seattle)

Request by subject; very few religious or legal materials. Does not ship to prisons that require all books sent be new.  No requests from male prisoners in California. Write directly to request. Serves people nationwide, with exceptions.

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 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
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
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. Closed indefinitely due to covid.

Books, Magazines, and Publishers, Free Books Programs