Free Resources for Prisoners
FREE RESOURCES FOR PRISONERS
• Free Books and Newsletters # 1 – 13
• Pen Pals # 14 – 19
• Meditation Resources # 20 – 28
In addition to the list provided on the following pages, Source Point Global Outreach provides a free 29-page Resource Directory for Prisoners. This directory provides correspondence courses for many religions and spiritual traditions, legal support, pen pals and more. Most organizations in the directory offer their services, books and literature free of charge to prisoners. To request a copy, write to:
Naljor Prison Dharma Service
PO Box 628
Mount Shasta, CA 96067
Web address: http://sourcepointglobaloutreach.org/naljor-prison-dharma-service/
(BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE FOR ALL US STATES UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)
Let these organizations know the book restrictions in the prison where you are incarcerated: What is the maximum number of books they allow to be received at one time? Does the prison accept used books or new only? Paperbacks only?
• List only the subjects or types of books of interest to you. Books are often donated and change every week. Distributors do their best to send something close to what you ask for. Requests by title or author are often challenging to fulfill.
• Please write clearly — especially your name, ID number, and address. Include all this info on both the envelope and in your letter.
1. Beehive Books Behind Bars (Serves WA, OR, CA, ID, NV, AZ, UT, MT, WY, CO, NM prisons only)
Weller Book Works
607 Trolley Square
Salt Lake City, UT 84102
BBB matches book requests from prisoners to books that have been donated to them.
2. The Prison Library Project
c/o The Claremont Forum
915-C W. Foothill Blvd, PMB 128
Claremont, CA 91711
• The Prison Library Project mails over 15,000 packages of books each year to inmates as well as boxes of books to prison librarians, educators and chaplains.
3. Prisoners Literature Project (PLP) (Serves all of the US except Texas prisons)
c/o Bound Together Bookstore
1369 Haight Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
• Limit requests to once a year; Takes 2-4 months to respond to requests;
• PLP does not have the following kinds of books: law books and legal guides; romances; horror; Bibles and Christian literature.
4. Bellingham Books To Prisoners (BBTP)
PO Box 1254
Bellingham, WA 98227
• BBTP are partnered with Seattle Books To Prisoners. Last year over 7,000 books were sent to prisoners.
5. DC Books to Prisons
PO Box 34190
Washington, DC 20043-4190
• Provides free books to prisoners throughout the US and supports local prison libraries.
• List subjects of interest. DC Books to Prisons also make available thousands of “zines,” small booklets on contemporary political subjects like race, gender, direct action, and popular history.
6. LGBT Books to Prisoners (Serves LGBTQ prisoners in all states except TX)
426 W. Gilman Street
Madison, WI 53703
• Sends books and other educational materials to LGBTQ-identified prisoners across the U.S. Each package contains 3-5 books, educational materials, and LGBTQ resources.
• 25,000 books have been sent to people in prison for each of the last two years.
7. NYC Books through Bars (Serves all US states except: AL, FL, LA, MA, MI,
c/o Bluestockings Bookstore MS, NC, OH, PA with a priority to NY prisons)
172 Allen Street
New York, NY 10002
• They match requests from prisoners to the books they have available.
8. Prisoners Literature Project (Serves all US states except: OR, MA TX)
C/o Bound Together Books
1369 Haight Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
• Working with Bound Together Books, PLP ships hundreds of books to prisoners every week.
9. Providence Books through Bars
42 Lenox Avenue
Providence, RI 02907-1910
• Since the number one requested book is a dictionary, PBB tries to send out as many as they can as well as thesauruses and reference books; provide requests for as many types of books as possible.
10. Women’s Prison Book Project (Serves all US states except: CT, FL, IL, IN, MA, MI, MS, OH, OR, PA)
c/o Boneshaker Books
2002 23rd Ave S
Minneapolis MN 55404
• Provides women and transgender persons in prison with free reading materials covering a wide range of topics from law and education (dictionaries, GED, etc.) to fiction, politics, history, and women’s health.
11. Religious Resources
Bible Truth Publishers
59 Industrial Road
Addison, IL 60101
• Supplies free Bibles in English and Spanish to prisoners
12. Chapel Library
2603 West Wright Street
Pensacola, Florida 32505
• Offers free Christian literature including study courses and Bibles
• Available in tracts, booklets, paperbacks and audio tapes
13. Prison Fellowship
44180 Riverside Parkway,
Lansdowne, VA 20176
• Publishes Inside Journal® a quarterly publication of Prison Fellowship that is distributed inside corrections facilities.
Written specifically for incarcerated men and women, in both English and Spanish.
PEN PAL PROGRAMS
14. Human Rights Pen Pals
1301 Clay Street
P.O. Box 71378
Oakland, CA 94612
• Provides educational and supportive correspondence between people in solitary confinement and supporters outside the prison walls.
15. Lifelines to Solitary
c/o Solitary Watch
PO Box 11374
Washington, DC 20008
• Solitary Watch provides support to people in prisons living in isolation, through its Lifelines to Solitary project. Through personalized letters and quarterly newsletters, they keep in touch with more than 3,000 people in solitary confinement across the country.
• Write to Solitary Watch to request a pen pal and newsletter.
16. Unitarian Universalist Association
CLF Letter Writing Prison Ministry
25 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02108
• Church of the Larger Fellowship (CLF), a part of the Unitarian Universalists, provides ministry and correspondence to those who are isolated. The CLF Letter Writing Ministry matches prisoner members with non-incarcerated Unitarian Universalist’s for an exchange of friendly letters on topics of mutual interest.
• All letter writers (prisoners and “free-world”) agree to the same guidelines, which emphasize that our program is not intended for romantic, legal-aid or financial/gift interactions. Contact the address above to request a pen pal.
17. FFUP (Forum for Understanding Prisons)
29631 Wild Rose Drive
Blue River, WI 53518
• Write directly to FFUP Pen Pals to request a pen pal volunteer.
• Provide some information on your background and the areas of interest for which you would like to correspond.
18. National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms
P.O. Box 66301
Washington, DC 20035
• Write directly to NCPCF to request a pen pal volunteer.
19. Prison Mindfulness Institute
11 S. Angell St. #303
Providence, RI 02906
• Organizes a pen pal program between prisoners and meditation volunteer.
20. Prison Ashram Project/The Human Kindness Foundation
The Human Kindness Foundation
PO Box 61619
Durham, NC 27715
• Provides free books mostly written by one of its founders, Bo Lozoff, offering spiritual guidance and support. The most well-known of these books are: We’re All Doing Time and Deep and Simple.
• Offers a free newsletter sent three times a year called “A Little Good News” providing spiritual support for the incarcerated.
21. Prison Mindfulness Institute and Prison Dharma Network
11 S. Angell St. #303
Providence, RI 02906
• PMI provides books and resources on Mindfulness and Meditation through their “Books Behind Bars” program.
• PDN offers a support network in the practice of contemplative disciplines, with an emphasis on sitting meditation practice.
• Offers the principles and practices of Buddhist teachings.
22. Buddhist Peace Fellowship
PO Box 3470
Berkeley, CA 94703
• BPF’s programs, publications, and practice groups link Buddhist teachings of wisdom and compassion with progressive social change.
• Offers free meditation information and a newsletter.
23. Siddha Yoga Meditation Prison Project
Emeryville, CA 94622
• Provides the Siddha Yoga Home Study Course to inmates upon request.
Lessons are received monthly and are available in Spanish translation.
• A free newsletter, study course and resource guide are also provided.
24. Mindfulness Peace Project | Solitary Confinement
6800 N. 79th St, Ste. 200
Niwot, CO 80503
You might pass this on to a chaplain or psychologist:
• A mindfulness program broadcasted into isolation units (in the CO DOC).
• Provides cha`nnels for education and spiritual instruction as well.
25. Gangaji Foundation
P.O. Box 716
Ashland OR 97520
• Offers free books upon request.
26. Liberation Prison Project
PO Box 33036
Raleigh, NC 27636
• Offers spiritual advice and teachings through letters, books and various materials to people in prison interested in exploring, studying and practicing Buddhism.
27. Prison Contemplative Fellowship
Contemplative Outreach, Ltd.
10 Park Place, 2nd Floor, Suite B
Butler, New Jersey 07405
• Teaches Centering Prayer, a receptive method of silent prayer. It is not meant to replace other kinds of prayer. Programs offer varying degrees of instruction, guided practice and study. Christian orientation, however can be used by anyone.