“I loved going to the book club, I didn’t have to be tough and aggressive, I could just be me…that helped me to embrace who I am and accept it.”
—Jonas, Age 23
These programs are not affiliated with Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop in any way.
Books Through Bars: PA, NY, NJ, DE, MD, WV, and VA
Please request by topic (not exact title or author), and provide several areas of interest if possible. Please be patient. We get so many requests that it may take a while to receive the books. Please wait a few months after receiving books before requesting again.
Address: 4722 Baltimore Ave,Philadelphia, PA 19143, United States
Prisoner Express (books, pen pal, art program): Nationwide
Prisoners can specify the types of books they are interested and we fulfill these requests to the best of our ability.
Address: 127 Anabel Taylor Hall - Cornell University - Ithaca, NY 14853
Phone: (607) 255-6486
The Prison Books Collective is a Carrboro, NC-based group that sends hundreds of books to prisoners in North Carolina and Alabama each month.
Address: Prison Books Collective: Publishing and Distribution, PO Box 625, Carrboro, NC 27510
E-mail Address: email@example.com
Open Books: Florida only
The Prison Book Project sends thousands of books each year to indigent inmates in Florida prisons, the largest prison system in the country and one sorely lacking basic books. Prisoners simply have to send us a letter and we send them books.
Address: 1040 N Guillemard St., Pensacola, FL 32501
Phone: (850) 453-6774
Women's Prison Book Project (Women and Transgender persons only): Nationwide
Since 1994, the Women’s Prison Book Project (WPBP) has provided 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.
Address: Women's Prison Book Project, c/o Boneshaker Books, 2002 23rd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55404
E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
DC Prison Book Project: Nationwide
Sends donated reading material to prisoners and educates the public about issues surrounding prisoner education and literacy. Give about a 3 month turnaround time.
Address: DC Books to Prisons, PO Box 34190, Washington, DC 20043-4190
E-mail Address: email@example.com
Prison Library Project: Nationwide
The nonprofit, which is mostly staffed by volunteers, mails more than 30,000 books, magazines, and audio tapes each year to libraries and inmates in 600 prisons, jails, and detention centers throughout the United States.
Address: 586 West First Street, Claremont, CA 91711
Phone: (909) 626-3066
Inside Books Project: Texas
Based in central Austin, the Inside Books Project (IBP) is an all volunteer, non-profit organization sending free books and educational materials to people in prison in the state of Texas.
Address: Inside Books Project, c/o 12th Street Books, Austin, TX 78701
Phone: (512) 647-4803
Prisoners Literature Project: Nationwide
The Prisoners Literature Project is an all-volunteer, non-profit group that sends free books directly to prisoners who request them from throughout the United States.
Address: Prisoners Literature Project, c/o Bound Together Books, 1369 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117
Tranzmission Prison Books (LGBTQI): Nationwide
Tranzmission Prison Project is an organization based out of Asheville, North Carolina that sends books and resources to LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex) prisoners nationwide.
Address: 67 N. Lexington Ave., Asheville, NC 28801
PEN Prison Writing Program: Nationwide
PEN's Prison Writing Program sponsors an annual writing contest, publishes a free Handbook for Writers In Prison, provides one-on-one mentoring to inmates, conducts workshops, and seeks to promote inmates' work publicly through literary publications and readings.
Address: PEN Writing Awards for Prisoners
PEN American Center
588 Broadway, Suite 303
New York, NY 10012
Phone Number: (212) 334-1660
Iron City Magazine
An online and print journal devoted entirely to writing and art from the prison world. It is our hope that through this creative platform, incarcerated artists and writers find value in their stories, fuel for personal growth, and pride in their accomplishments. Accepting poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and art.
Submissions may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to PO Box 370, Tempe, AZ 85280. They accept handwritten or typed submissions. For full guidelines go to ironcitymagazine.org.
BleakHouse Publishing is an independent press devoted to creative writing, art, and photography on social justice. They regularly feature incarcerated people’s writing in their literary journal, Tacenda.
Address: Professor Robert Johnson, BleakHouse Publishing, Dept. of Justice, Law, and Criminology, American University, 4400 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016
Prisons Foundation: Nationwide
If you are a prisoner who has written a book, or would like to write a book, we want to publish it. All books on any subject are welcome. We do not screen or censor in any way, so you are free to write anything you wish. There is no charge to you to publish your book and no charge to anyone who wishes to read it.
Address: 1600 K St NW # 501 Washington, DC 20006
Phone: (202)- 393-1511
The Prisons Art Coalition: Nationwide
Established in 2008, the Prison Arts Coalition (PAC) is a national network for information and resources about existing prison arts programs in the United States.
E-mail Address: PACoalitionadmin@gmail.com
Prison Art Project: Nationwide
Run by an ex-convict, the Prison Art Project provides a means for prisoners to sell and display their artwork.
Address: PO Box 47439, Seattle, WA 98146-7439, United States
Phone: (206) 271-5003
California Prison Focus: Nationwide
"Prison Focus" Newsletter, Our newspaper/newsletter, is primarily by prisoners and for prisoners, their friends and families.
Address: 1904 Franklin St, Suite 507, Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: (510) 836-7222
Art Behind Bars, Inc.: Nationwide
Art Behind Bars is an art-based community service program that has a national call for artists on the inside to donate their work as a community service for use by other nonprofit organizations. All donated art is shown twice a year. Ex-prisoners are invited to submit art to Art After Bars at the same contact.
Address: P.O. Box 2034, Key West, FL 33045 – 2034
Black and Pink: Nationwide
Black & Pink is an open family of LGBTQ prisoners and “free world” allies who support each other. Contact Black & Pink for more information about their pen pal program.
Address: 6223 Maple St #4600, Omaha, NE 68104
Interfaith Action for Human Rights: DC
D.C. residents who are convicted of a felony serve their sentence in a federal prison. D.C. residents are incarcerated in prisons from California to Florida to upstate New York. D.C. residents in prison often feel very isolated since they are often incarcerated so far from home. To address their isolation, in November 2017, lAHR kicked off a campaign to identify volunteers who will write to at least one D.C. resident in prison once a month for a year. As of March, 2019, over 100 people have volunteered to be pen pals with a person incarcerated in a federal prison. Yet we still have over 50 people in prison who have requested a pen pal, with new requests coming in every week. We need more pen pals on the outside to meet the need on the inside.
Address: PO Box 55802, Washington, DC 20040
P.O.W Pal Program: Nationwide
Mission: Establish and maintain communication between those in prison and those in the community.
Address: Shaquil Sulaiman, 15225 Old Columbia pike, Burtonsville, MD 20866
For Returning Citizens:
This organization offers a variety of services, including mentoring for previously incarcerated juveniles, gang outreach, and a family initiative for incarcerated fathers.
LAYC provides support services to Latin American youth in DC. Their programs include education, community wellness, social services, workforce investment, art, and advocacy.
LPtM mentors and supports young African American men and boys in Wards 7 and 8 through a variety of apprenticeship programs.
Jubilee Jobs provides job preparation, placement, and support for returning citizens who are ready to work.
The Alexandria Seaport Foundation offers full-time, paid apprenticeships to young adults (aged 18-22). Through the building of boats, apprentices learn carpentry as well as valuable job skills such as team work, punctuality, and responsibility.
Sasha Bruce is a youth-specific shelter that offers emergency respite for homeless youth. Sasha Bruce also offers counseling, education, and career preparation.
Strive DC is dedicated to providing comprehensive workforce preparation for people who face barriers towards employment, including returning citizens. Strive's programs include professional clothing for job interviews, construction careers training, customer service training, and others.
Byte Back seeks to bridge the divide by providing computer literacy and employment training for low-income residents in DC.
An adult education program for adults who need academic skills and training, have limited financial resources, and are interested in earning a high school diploma or increasing their skills to secure living wage jobs.
TWPDC is a collaborative of nonprofit organizations working together to provide a coordinated set of workforce development services to low-income adults in DC. Our goal is to co-locate TWPDC partners in a nonprofit center and provide a single point of entry for adults in need of one or more workforce development services (e.g. case management, adult literacy, job training, and job placement).