Prisoners Literature Project


Volunteer with us!

The Prisoners Literature Project is based in Berkeley, California, and we’re always looking for volunteers to help answer letters, send out books, learn more about the prison system, and assist in other ways.

We currently meet on Sundays from 2-6pm and on Wednesdays from 6:30-9:30pm at the Grassroots House.  This is located at 2022 Blake St. (at Milvia), Berkeley, CA 94704.  (Map – there’s plenty of local parking, and the office is walkable in 11-15 minutes from downtown Berkeley BART or Ashby BART  – also, AC Transit bus #18 stops nearby.)

(Please note that we can’t accept prisoner book requests at this address.  Book requests from U.S. prisoners must be mailed to PLP; c/o Bound Together Books, 1369 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117.)

We welcome helpers of any age and experience at our volunteer sessions (here’s what they look like!), and are also very happy to host students looking for community service.  You should read a lot, have neat legible handwriting, and be able to follow the rules to get books into prisons. We don’t make the rules, but we do have to follow them!

Bringing more than four people? Please contact us first so we can better accommodate your group. (BTW, we maintain ‘call for volunteer’ listings on, on, and on, so you might have seen us there!)

Other ways to help?

If you can’t make it in-person to our volunteer sessions, we’d still love your help.  In particular, we’re looking for donations — both one-time and recurring — to help pay for postage on the hundreds of book packages we send out monthly.

Other things we’d love help with include:  fundraising efforts, publicity, and contacting publishers and distributors to get multiple copies of our most sought-after books.  We need to keep building our reserves — and further reduce our request backlog.

Got more ideas?  Come to a meeting and share them with us!


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.

Latest News
New art from grateful prisoners!
Feb 2018

We’ve been sending out a lot of ‘how to draw’ guides to prisoners recently by request – here’s some neat thank-you pictures we received last week!

A thank you poem to remember!
Feb 2018

Here’s a wonderful ‘thank you’ poem from a grateful prisoner. It’s addressed to Prisoners Literature Project & sister bookstore Bound Together Books, which is the address prisoners have to mail to get a reply from us! 

PLP’s regular Sunday volunteering hours now 2pm to 6pm!
Jan 2018

Apologies for the back and forth on this, but the Prisoners Literature Project’s open Sunday volunteering hours are now 2pm to 6pm, starting Sunday, December 3rd, 2017 going forwards.