Prisoners Literature Project

Pennsylvania still refusing all donated books to prisoners – help needed!

September 2018  |  Published in Announcements, Latest News

Unfortunately, Pennsylvania is still refusing to deliver any of our donated books to their prisoners, & the complaints over this major change in policy are rapidly increasing.

There have been major news articles about this on BoingBoing and via Slate, and as Slate says:

“Previously, approved organizations on the outside could mail books or other publications directly to inmates, subject to inspection and approval by corrections officials. (For example, officials could deny publications they determined to be obscene, “racially inflammatory,” or potentially dangerous.) Now, no such direct donations are permitted. Instead, the Department of Corrections says it’s beginning a “transition to ebooks coupled with [a] bolstered DOC library system” in order to fight the flow of illegal drugs into facilities statewide.

In addition to banning the direct shipment of books and publications to inmates, the DOC announced it will no longer process inmate mail at correctional facilities; instead, mail will go to a processing center, where it will be opened, scanned, and then emailed back to individual facilities to print and distribute. The DOC will also expand its use of drones and body scanners.”

Clearly this is a major issue, and we don’t believe that drugs or contraband getting into prisons is an issue that will be significantly fixed by banning ‘books to prisoners’ orgs. This decision is causing far more bad than good!

If you’d like to help out, there’s a call-in this Friday  (Sept 21st) where you can leave messages for key stakeholders in PA – or feel free to look up their phone numbers via that link and contact them or email them at any time! All pressure helps.

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Great op-ed about Pennsylvania’s continued ban on books
Oct 2018

Here’s a great op-ed in the Washington Post about Pennsylvania’s short-sighted ban on non-profits sending (free!) books to prisoners.


Pennsylvania still refusing all donated books to prisoners – help needed!
Sep 2018

Unfortunately, Pennsylvania is still refusing to deliver any of our donated books to their prisoners, & the complaints over this major change in policy are rapidly increasing.