Prisoners Literature Project

Volunteer

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.)

(NEW: we also have monthly ‘chilled-out’ Sunday morning volunteer sessions, for those who find traditional Sunday afternoon sessions too busy. The next ones are on Sunday, August 19th from 10am to 2pm & on Sunday, September 16th – again from 10am to 2pm before the regular session.)

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! You don’t need to pre-register, but it is your first time attending, please identify yourself to our co-ordinator for the session so they can briefly train you – it should only take 5 minutes.

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

[Note on our code of conduct: The PLP strives to be an inclusive, friendly and collaborative group. We ask volunteers to always use helpful and respectful communication. Participants asked, by anyone, to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, talk to a volunteer session coordinator.]

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

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
Upcoming Sunday morning ‘chilled-out’ volunteer sessions!
Aug 2018

Our next two ‘chilled-out’ Sunday morning volunteer sessions are confirmed!


Thank you letters from prisoners – Summer 2018 update!
Aug 2018

Here’s a couple of truly appreciative recent thank-you letters from incarcerated prisoners that the Prisoners Literature Project has sent free books to. 


PLP: volunteers wanted, volunteer survey!
Jul 2018

As we steam into the summer months, we’re still getting 300+ letters a week from needy U.S. prisoners in search of dictionaries, self-help books, fiction, and lots more – that’s a lot!