Prisoners Literature Project

PLP featured in Mother Jones magazine

December 2019  |  Published in Announcements, Latest News

The January/February 2020 issue of Mother Jones magazine includes an excellent piece about books & libraries for prisoners, including a section referencing the PLP:

“In budget-strapped prisons, inmates are increasingly writing to volunteer groups that send them free books. The Prisoners Literature Project got about five to 10 letters a month when it started in the 1980s; today it receives thousands from around the country. The most common request is for dictionaries. They’re in such high demand, Kessel says, “some people were collecting [them] for contraband, so they could trade them for things.”

On a Sunday afternoon, PLP volunteers in Berkeley, California, fielded requests from inmates looking for everything from true crime to math books. Others wanted the last two installations of the Harry Potter series, a French dictionary, Marvel Comics, or Stephen King. Jasmine Markovich, a high school student who started volunteering after reading Just Mercy, a book about a wrongfully convicted man on death row, prepared a package for an inmate requesting thrillers. “Stay strong,” she wrote in a note, signing it with a heart.”

Thanks to all of our volunteers for helping to make this possible!

Latest News
IMPORTANT: PLP suspending volunteer sessions.
Mar 2020

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: Prisoner Literature Project is suspending Wednesday and Sunday volunteer sessions until further notice.


Mini-documentary on PLP-inspired B2P program
Mar 2020

This great mini-documentary on Lisa Frank, who runs the boutique Adobe Books to Prisoners service out of San Francisco, specifically cites PLP as her original inspiration.


NPR talks banned books & prisons.
Feb 2020

A new NPR article is delving into why books are banned in U.S. prisons, with some interesting quotes from prison officials and activists.