Books to Inmates Programs

The Prison Library Project is not affiliated with these book programs. Hopefully, this list will help you find a resource in your state that can help you.  Whenever writing to a book program, be sure to print your name and prisoner ID# clearly. It is usually a good idea to give subject matter preferences, as specific titles are not always available.
Appalachian Book Project
P.O. Box 601, Morgantown, Wv 26507
The Appalachian Prison Book Project (APBP) sends free books to women and men who are imprisoned in six states: West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Many prisons lack adequate libraries, and books can be a real life line to people doing time.

Asheville Prison Book Program
67 N Lexington Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
Books for inmates in

Athens Books To Prisoners
P.O. Box 45, Rutland, Oh. 45775
Books for Ohio inmates.

Beehive Books Behind Bars  
Weller Book Works
607 Trolley Square, Salt Lake City, UT 84102
Program located in Utah, serves inmates in WA, OR, CA, ID, NV, AZ, UT, MT, WY, CO, NM
Bellingham Books To Prisoners (Affiliate Of BTP Seattle)
Books To Prisoners C/O Left Bank Books
92 Pike Street, Box A, Seattle, WA 98101

Serves inmates in all states except CA and MA
Book ‘Em
5125 Penn Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15224
Free books to prisoners. Request by subject. Only serving prisoners from PA. Will serve large-print readers and Native American prisoners from elsewhere as well.
Books For Prisoners
c/o Groundwork Books, 0323 Student Center, La Jolla CA 92037 

Groundwork Books offers up to two books per person, free of charge. Send your request, specifying your interests, and we will send you a detailed booklet for that area of interest. Subjects: politics, spirituality, feminism, dictionaries, culture, social criticism, and select novels. Stamp donations are appreciated but not required.
Books Thru Bars
4722 Baltimore Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19143
We provide small packages of books to individual prisoners in the Mid-Atlantic region (PA, NJ, DE, NY, MD, VA, WV), many of them housed in long-term segregation units.
Books To Prisoners C/O Left Bank Books
92 Pike St., Box A Seattle, WA 98101
Free books to prisoners nationwide except CA and MA.  Request by subject, no religious materials or legal materials. Donations appreciated. Does NOT ship to prisons that require all books sent to be new.
California Coalition For Women Prisoners
1540 Market St., Suite 490, San Francisco, CA 94102

Publishes the The Fire Inside newsletter:
that is dedicated to providing a space for women, transgender & gender non-conforming prisoners and their supporters to communicate with each other and the public about the issues and experiences they face through articles, art and poetry.
Chicago Books To Women In Prison
P O Box 14778, Chicago, IL 60614
Chicago Books to Women in Prison is a volunteer collective working to distribute books free of charge to women in prison in  
AZ, CA, CT, FL, IL, IN, KY, MS, MO, and OH. We are dedicated to offering women behind bars the opportunity for self-empowerment, education, and entertainment that reading provides.
DC Books to Prisons Project
PO Box 34190, Washington, DC 20043-4190
DC Books to Prisons Project has provided free books to prisoners around the country. We also develop and support local prison libraries. Our work is done solely by concerned volunteers on donated time and resources. Unlike some programs, we do not limit requests for books to a particular geographic area or demographic group; therefore, we receive a tremendous number of requests. Yearly, we send out close to 4,000 packages containing over 10,000 books. These packages go to prisoners in 150 different prisons in all 50 states except New England, IL, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PA, WA, WI.

The Granite Publishing Group
Po Box 1429, Columbus, NC  28722

Inmates may write to receive free books on subjects that support the cultivation of planetary consciousness. The metaphysical/transformational subjects of our books range from Native American spirituality to the extraterrestrial presence. Please send postage if possible.
Human Kindness Foundation
P.O. Box 61619 Durham, NC 27715
Sends spiritual books (softcover) free to prisoners, prison workers, and those who cannot afford them.
Inside Books Project
C/O 12th St. Books 827 W. 12th St. Austin, TX 78701
Sends free books and literature to prisoners in Texas only. Does not accept requests for hardcover, Bibles, pulp fiction, or pornography. Send 1 stamp for resource list and newsletter. Accepts artwork donations for their yearly prisoner art show.
Internationalist Prison Book Collective
P.O. Box 625, Carrboro, NC 27510
Serves: AL, and some prisons in NC

Ithaca College Books Thru Bars

PO Box 113, Brooktondale, New York 14817
Books-to-prisoners program dedicated to providing free books to those who are incarcerated in NYS.
LGBT Books to Prisoners
426 W. Gilman St. ,Madison, WI 53703
Serves LGBTQ prisoners in all states except TX
Louisiana Books 2 Prisoners
1631 Elysian Fields #117, New Orleans, LA 70117
We currently prioritize requests from Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi,  Letters from Louisiana and female inmates are given priority, with all other letters answered in the order in which we receive them.
Maoist Internationalist Movement’s Free Political Books to Prisoners  
Serves inmates in all US States except MA

Midwest Pages To Prisoners Project
C/O Boxcar Books & Community Center, Inc.
118 S. Rogers, Suite 2, Bloomington, IN 47404

The Midwest Pages to Prisoners Project is an all-volunteer effort that strives to encourage self-education among prisoners in the United States. By providing free reading materials upon request, we hope to promote rehabilitation and reintegration rather than punishment, and to stimulate critical thinking behind bars.
Serves inmates in AR, IN, IA, KS, KY, MN, MO, NE, ND, OH, OK, SD, TN, and WI
NYC Books Through Bars
C/O Bluestockings Bookstore, 172 Allen St, New York, NY 10002
Free, nationwide, except
AL, FL, LA, MA, MI, MS, NC, OH, and PA with a priority on NY. Specializes in political and history. Also literary fiction and other educational books. No religion books.
Olympia Books to Prisoners
Serves:  Contact organization.

Open Books Prison Book Project
Serves: FL only

Portland Books To Prisoners
P.O. Box 11222, Portland, OR 97211
Sends free books to prisoners nationwide except MA.
Prison Book Collective
405 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, NC 27516
Sends books to AL, MS, and some prisons in NC
Prison Book Program
C/O Lucy Parsons Bookstore
1306 Hancock St., Suite 100, Quincy, MA 02169
Does not send books to CA, MA, MD, MI, PA, KY, LA, NV or TX. No computer books, horror, romance, textbooks, true crime, or white supremacist materials. Publishes the National Prisoner Resource List (free to prisoners nationwide) and resource list for LGBTQ prisoners. Can be delayed up to 5-7 months.
Prisoners Literature Project
PLP c/o Bound Together Books 1369 Haight St. San Francisco, CA 94117
Serves: All US states except OR and MA
Providence Books Through Bars
c/o Paper Nautilus Books
5 Angell Street, Providence, RI  02906

Serves: All US states
Read Between The Bars
c/o Daily Planet Publishing
P.O. Box 1589 , Tucson, AZ, 85702-1589

Serves inmates in AZ only
Unitarian Universalist Ann Arbor Prison Books
Donations requested - serves Huron Valley State Prison Facilities, Coldwater State Facilities, Maxey State Facilities, Jackson State Facilities, and Washtenaw County Jail and Youth Home facilities.
Urbana-Champaign Books To Prisoners Project
Box 515, Urbana, Il 61803
UC Books to Prisoners is an Urbana Illinois based project-providing books to Illinois inmates at no cost by mail as well as through two county jail libraries which we operate.
Women’s Prison Book Project  C/O Boneshaker Books
2002 23rd Ave. S, Minneapolis, MN 55404
Provides women and transgender-identified persons in prison with free reading materials.
Serves: All US states except CT, FL, IL, IN, MA, MI, MS, OH, OR, and PA


  1. Having done federal prison time in California some years ago, they only allowed new books sent from a supplyer. Is this policy still in practice?

    1. I've done federal time. They now allow new or used books. In the med and high level they must come from a bookstore. In the low the family can send softcover (five only) directly to the inmate.

  2. The rules are different for every facility. The best way to go is to check for the policy and restrictions and request that a specific book program is considered as an approved vendor. Sometimes a chaplain or other prison staffer will also agree to accept books on behalf of the inmates.

  3. My new ebook series ("Her Letters from Prison") is an inspirational resource for reading pleasure, review, contemplation, and discussion. My own testimony is: "God changed my life in prison!"

    "Her Letters from Prison" (Parts 1 & 2) will validate your inquisitive thoughts and doubts about what goes on in women’s prisons (It is what it is!); and it can justify the efforts spent toward women’s prison ministries. These two ebooks can be a motivational (tell-it-like-it-is) resource for drug rehab/prevention and reentry programs, especially when combined with "Her Letters from Prison – Part 4: Recycled – Second Time Around".

    "Her Letters from Prison" is a non-fiction, inspirational, romance ebook series; with Heather's original letters (with prison art) included as images for authenticity. Heather's story describes how female offenders are perceived and handled (often abused) in the criminal justice system. The story continues (Part 4) to describe Heather's first two years of re-entry back into the real world and how she ended a destructive narcissistic-codependent relationship.

    "Her Letters from Prison: Women-in-Prison" (Part 3) contains two PowerPoint presentations prepared for the University of Alabama/Women's Studies "Women in Prison" conference. Both presentations are based on Parts 1 & 2 of Heather's story; and they are entitled "Women-in-Prison (Almost Invisible)" and "Women-in-Prison (Facts/Myths)". Also, Heather's personal testimony is included in the Part 3 publication.

    You can go to, and click on a direct link to Heather's and/or Smashwords "book pages" for “Her Letters from Prison”. Alternatively, you can visit Heather’s author pages:

    Heather’s ebooks are also available in paperback format. The paperback book ("Her Letters from Prison") may be obtained by contacting Heather through her website "contact" form. The paperback book contains Part 1, 2, and 3 ebooks. "Her Letters from Prison - Part 4" will be published as its own paperback book soon.

    Thanks for your time and consideration.

    Heather Heaton

    PS: Also, I have a new book series entitled "Women-in-Prison Short Stories" available now on and Smashwords. These true short stories describe the relationships between individual inmates with severe crime(s) and how the other inmates react to the convicted inmate. The short stories are being published now as individual ebooks; but eventually, they will be grouped together and published as a single composite ebook and perhaps a paperback.