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
Prisoner Express

Prisoner Express News is published every six months and sent free of charge to incarcerated individuals throughout the United States. They are also available for download online. PE also sends books and educational packets as available. Prisoner Express has ongoing programs in creative writing, chess, meditation, journaling and art. Sends to people nationally.


Books, Magazines, and Publishers, Free Books Programs
Prisoners Literature Project

The Prisoners Literature Project is an all-volunteer grassroots organization that sends free books to prisoners across the U.S. Please request types of books, not specific titles. They do not carry Christian books or legal texts. Please limit requests to once per year, and be patient while they try to find books to match your requests. Inform them of any book restrictions at your prison. PLP is one of PARC's partners - ask them for your next copy of the PARC directory! Serves people nationally except Texas (check out Inside Books Project instead!).

Books, Magazines, and Publishers, Free Books Programs
Read Between the Bars

Grassroots collective in Tucson that originated in March 2007 sending free books. Serves people in Arizona federal detention centers.

Books, Magazines, and Publishers, Free Books Programs
RedBird Books-to-Prisoners

Dedicated to providing Ohio prisoners with free books and reading materials. Send requests by subject with priority to individuals incarcerated in Ohio.

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

Rogue Liberation Library, a program of he Peace House, sends free books and reading materials to foster knowledge, creativity, communication, personal development, and well-being. Request books by subject, not specific titles or authors. List prison book restrictions if known. Does not send to prisons that require all books be new. Does not send legal materials. Limit requests to once every three months. Books are sent free of charge to people in state prisons in the western half of the U.S. and federal prisons nationwide where allowed by state and federal regulations.


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

Sends free books to individuals incarcerated in Georgia and South Carolina. Also has a number of resources, including an Advocacy Handbook for People Imprisoned in Georgia and regional re-entry resources, that it will print and mail. Write for more info on resources available.

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

Volunteer run, donation based organization providing free reading materials to incarcerated individuals.  Request by subject; very few religious or legal materials. Does not ship to prisons that require all books sent be new.  Write directly to request. Supported by partners Portland Books to Prisoners, Boots to Prisoners Olympia, and Books to Prisoners Spokane.  Serves people nationwide, except CA and MA, and short term facilities.

Books, Magazines, and Publishers, Free Books Programs
Urbana-Champaign Books to Prisoners

UC Books to Prisoners is an Urbana, Illinois based project providing books at no cost by mail to inmates in state and federal prisons, as well as in two county jail libraries in Illinois. Serves people in Illinois only.

Educational Resources, Free Books Programs
Wisconsin Books to Prisoners Project

Wisconsin Books to Prisoners is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization that sends books free of charge to state and federal prisoners in Wisconsin. Does not respond to email inquiries. Please request by genre or subject category. Sends to Wisconsin only. May be delays due to covid.


Educational Resources, Free Books Programs
Women's Prison Book Project

Provides women and transgender persons in prison with free reading materials covering a wide range of topics. WPBP also has a free resource guide for women and trans prisoners and a newsletter which publishes prisoner articles. Partners with Black and Pink Minneapolis' pen pal project (see LGBTQ resouce section). Ofrecen materiales de lectura en Español. Only serves women and trans prisoners.

Books, Magazines, and Publishers, Free Books Programs