"Thanks for offering books to
incarcerated individuals free of charge. Our society needs more of
you, and your organizations, to promote culture and education
ANNOUNCEMENT: Our Summer 2023 newsletter is out. Check it out!
ANNOUNCEMENT: We are currently open again for new volunteer orientation. All first-time volunteers must attend orientation. Please see the Volunteer page for more details.
Founded in 1999, DC Books to Prisons provides free books to individual prisoners. We also develop and support prison libraries. Our work is done solely by concerned volunteers using donated time and resources. DC Books to Prisons is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in Washington DC.
Each year, we send more than 7,000 book packages to prisoners in over 600 prisons in the United States. We serve state and federal prisoners in 34 states, and federal prisoners in Arizona. With the exception of DC residents in federal prisons, we do not serve inmates in CT, FL, IL, MA, ME, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OR, PA, RI, VT, WA, or WI.
The U.S. has less than five percent of the world's population, yet more than 25 percent of the world's prisoners. Nearly one percent of American adults are incarcerated; the highest rate in the world. However, many prisoners have little access to books or educational material. Usually, prisoners are not allowed to receive books from friends or family. While some prisons have libraries, many do not. Of prisons that do, access and selection can be extremely limited. Programs like ours are one of the few options available to prisoners seeking books.
There are a number of similar projects throughout the country, so if you are looking to get involved but are not in the Washington DC area, check out this website for a group near you.