The Prisoners Literature Project is a grassroots organization that sends free books to prisoners in the United States. The project started in the early 1980’s in the back of Bound Together Books, an anarchist bookstore still operating on Haight Street. PLP is run entirely by volunteers and funded by donations.
Most prisons do not allow prisoners to receive books directly from individuals. Instead, books must be sent through “pre-approved vendors” such as publishers or expensive bookstores like Barnes & Noble. In many cases, prisoners do not have anyone on the outside who is willing or able to send books via this route. And what about prison libraries, you ask? Some consist of mostly suspense or western novels, and even then, library access may be treated as more of a privilege than a right.
This is where PLP steps in. We believe that everyone deserves access to literature and educational materials, including people trying to work towards social change, self-empowerment or rehabilitation within the incarceration system. Through our affiliation with Bound Together Books, PLP is able to send free books to those inside.
For more information, contact:
Gina Shepard: 510.749.4160
PO box 1253 berkeley, 94701
open sundays 2-6pm and wednesdays 6:30-9:30pm for volunteering