Prisoners Literature Project

Latest News

PLP library – rearranged.

Thanks to Chris and a number of other PLP co-ordinators (Anita, Rowan, and Johanna, plus our long-term librarian Bruno), we rearranged the Prisoners Literature Project library at our HQ (Grassroots House in Berkeley) the other weekend.

We’re not necessarily changing the kinds of books we send out, but we’re trying to set up the library so that the most in-demand books are easiest to access and restock!

For those interested, here’s some of the most notable changes we made:

– Scifi and fantasy are in the same bookcase where they were but moved up, and will occupy three whole shelves now. There is a remainder order coming in to boost our inventory.
– Classic fiction is now in its own section, separated from general fiction. General fiction is in the same place, and the classic novels are to the right, underneath the politics section.
– Art books have moved down in their bookcase.- Spanish language books are on the bottom shelf in the closet.
– Graphic novels and humor are in the black bookshelf where the composition books were, and manga is just to the right, where the cookbooks were. There is a remainder order coming in to boost our inventory of graphic novels and manga.
– …and for good measure Anita restocked the T-shirts and cleared out and organized the closet in the workroom!

And obviously we still have lots of room for dictionaries, composition books, self-help books, and how-to/business books, which are some of our most requested titles!

Thanks again for everyone who helps to make this possible.


A letter from a PLP client!

We wanted to highlight this wonderful letter from a (now former) prisoner who used our Prisoners Literature Project service – which is affiliated with Bound Together Books in San Francisco – and very much appreciated our work.

Here we are:

Thanks to everyone for your support that makes this possible!


Check out this PLP profile!

In case you missed it: this wonderful profile of the work we do at the Prisoners Literature Project was posted on the Oakland North website last month:

Thanks to Sabine Berzina, the writer of the piece, for doing such a conscientious and well-contextualized piece on the PLP – much appreciated!


Ohio latest state to ban B2P books!

More issues with U.S. states banning book donations to prisoners – this time in Ohio:

OHIO BECOMES LATEST STATE TO ATTEMPT TO STOP BOOK DONATIONS TO INCARCERATED: https://bookriot.com/2019/05/09/ohio-prison-book-ban/

” Last month, we reported on Washington’s Department of Justice’s new policy that banned used book donations from nonprofits from entering into the prison system. This month, it’s been uncovered that officials in Ohio have been working toward banning books donated to prisoners with their own policy changes.”


Please read & contact officials to tell them this is a terrible idea!


Meet PLP at the Bay Area Book Fest (or volunteer!)

Prisoners Literature Project will have a space once again at the Bay Area Book Fest in downtown Berkeley on May 4th and 5th.

We’ll be selling some REALLY cool leftover hardback & paperback books (that we can’t send to prisoners) to get money for postage fees, and also giving out bookmarks and pamphlets to tell people about PLP.

Come check us out if you have a chance: https://www.baybookfest.org/

ALSO: if you’re interesting in volunteering on our booth at Bay Area Book Fest, we need help on both days – please email jamieschecter@gmail.com – thanks!


WA officials reverse ‘used book ban’ for PLP, other orgs

Good news – the ban on used books being sent to prisoners in Washington State has largely been resolved, as the Seattle Times explained last week.

(Though there’s still some negotiation over details, there will now be named non-profits who are allowed to donate directly to prisoners, and PLP will be one of them.)

Thanks to everyone who signed a petition or otherwise sent good thoughts, and special thanks to Seattle Books To Prisoners for arranging the pushback.


Fighting Washington’s ‘used books to prisoners’ ban!

Unfortunately, another state has decided to interfere in the efforts of countless books to prisoners organizations, as Washington State decided to ban used books being sent to inmates.

Fortunately, the local Seattle Books To Prisoners group (which sends countrywide) is one of the strongest in the nation, and immediately started campaigning against the move.

If you’d like to help, please sign the below petition and also check out what else B2P Seattle has to say on its Twitter feed – you can help!


New: monthly Fridays for ‘veteran’ volunteers

Due to popular demand, the Prisoners Literature Project is adding Friday evening sessions for ‘veteran’ volunteers only!

If you’re someone who has attended PLP at least 3 times and wants to go to a more chilled-out session to help choose books for prisoners, please come!

The first of these sessions will be on Friday, March 1st from 6.30pm to 9.30pm at Grassroots House in Berkeley, and the second will be on Friday, April 5th from 6.30pm to 9.30pm at the same location.

Obviously, we’ll still be running our regular Wednesday evening and Sunday afternoon sessions too – this is just an opportunity to volunteer with less people in a more veteran-centric environment. We hope to see you there!


Thank you letters – early 2019.

Here’s a new set of thank you letters from prisoners, as discovered at a recent Prisoners Literature Project session.




Happy 2019 from the PLP – thanks for helping!

Happy 2019 (imminently!) from the Prisoners Literature Project – thanks to everyone for supporting us through a busy & productive 2018! The prisoners we serve really appreciate it. More info…



About the Prisoners Literature Project

The Prisoners Literature Project is an all-volunteer grassroots group that sends hundreds of free book packages to needy prisoners in the United States every month.

Please consider donating to the PLP or volunteering your time (if you live in the Bay Area, CA!) to help us answer letters from prisoners who write us from all over the United States.

Prisoners – want books?

Mailing address for U.S. prisoner book requests: Prisoner Literature Project c/o Bound Together Books 1369 Haight St San Francisco, CA 94117 There's more info here on what else prisoners need to include with their requests.