Latest Posts

Support Us!

Thanks for your interest in getting reading materials into the hands of people locked in our nation’s prisons and jails. We send books to people in North Carolina and Alabama. We also send zines (small booklets) to people in prisons around the country.

  • DONATE MONEY: Our biggest need right now is for money! We’re pretty much out of money. So in order to keep sending books and zines into prisons, we need your help!        We spend about $800 per month on: postage ($400), rent for our space ($300), copies/printing ($50), supplies ($50), and website ($5)!  Your help is so critical!!



Political Prisoner Birthday Poster For December 2016 Is Now Available

December Political Prisoner Birthday Cake

Hello Friends and Comrades,

  1. Here is the political prisoner birthday poster for December.(11″x17″ PDF, 25MB) Also available in color here(11″x17″ PDF, 25MB), non-PDF available here (imgur link) for sharing. Print it out and plaster your community, both in commemoration of these freedom fighters and to advertise locally for a political prisoner letter writing night. Get together with some friends in your town to send birthday cards to these fighters in our struggle. It’s an easy way to help remind them that they aren’t forgotten. If you make one, remember—don’t use anything like white-out, stickers, tape or glitter on it. We also recommend that you put a return name and address and their name and prisoner number on the card, lest the authorities “lose” the envelope and forget where it is going. If you would like to add a birthday or sign up for our poster mailing list (not a listserv, one email per month), or if you would like to contribute in another way to increasing the profile of US political prisoners, email us at ppbirthday@riseup.net.
  2. There’s a special urgency to fight back the fascist creep represented in our white house and the US government. This is a great opportunity to reexamine your position within society, and dedicate yourself further towards its upturn. Whoever occupies the white house, the same pigs occupy our neighborhoods, and our neighbors occupy their cages. More now than ever, more today than yesterday, and more yesterday than the day before it. Renewing your dedication to the struggle to abolish this prison society can take many forms. Maybe you’ll be able to contribute financially. Maybe you’ll be able to contribute time. Maybe you have a special skill you can contribute to the struggle. This is the time to find out about yourself, the time to get together with your friends, coworkers, and neighbors, and the time to seize all available opportunities to disrupt and destroy the coming fascist menace. We are all we have, and no one is going to save us but ourselves. Sever the means of the reproduction of life from the market and share with the least of those around you. If we learn nothing else from 1936, it’s that the most potent fight against fascism is a vibrant movement of working class people against capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy, and the state. Dig in, folks, we’re in for a serious struggle. Trump might be our next president, let’s try to make him our last.
  3. A special thank you to the designers of this month’s poster. Designers are constantly bombarded with requests to work their trade for free, for publicity, or for a cause, and every month the PPBD Posters project relies on their generosity of time, skill and devotion to the cause of prison abolition. Cheers to Corina Dross for putting this month’s rad poster together.
  4. Do you need help advertising for your local Political Prisoner Letter Writing Night? Are you interested in distributing physical copies of the poster? Write to us and let’s find a way to get physical copies of our poster to you: ppbirthday@riseup.net
  5. Be sure to check out the latest Political Prisoner/Prisoner Of War every-other week update (PDF, 252KB) by the NYC-Anarchist Black Cross. There are lots of important updates on many political prisoners. This one includes updates on Chelsea Manning, Eric King, Oscar Lopez Rivera, and more.

Remember: They are in there for us, we are out here for them!

Fellow Workers: Remember! We are in here for you, you are out there for us!

Until Every Cage Is Empty,

The Political Prisoner Birthday Crew

We are accepting book donations again!!

Great news! We are once again accepting ALL book donations! As a reminder, books must be softcover and in20161101-lowonbooks very good/good condition (and no writing inside).

We’re getting very low on Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Mystery and African-American/Black non-fiction. We know you have books you’ve been setting aside just waiting for us to start accepting donations again! Now is your chance!

Check out our donate books page for more info.

Email is at: prisonbooks@gmail.com to arrange a pick-up or drop-off. Or check out our contact page for other ways to get in touch.

Please do NOT stop by our space to drop off books without checking with us first.

Political Prisoner Birthday Poster For November 2016 Is Now Available

November Political Prisoner Birthday Cake

Hello Friends and Comrades,

  1. Here is the political prisoner birthday poster for November.(11″x17″ PDF, 28MB) Also available in color here. Print it out and plaster your community, both in commemoration of these freedom fighters and to advertise locally for a political prisoner letter writing night. Get together with some friends in your town to send birthday cards to these fighters in our struggle. It’s an easy way to help remind them that they aren’t forgotten. If you make one, remember—don’t use anything like white-out, stickers, tape or glitter on it. We also recommend that you put a return name and address and their name and prisoner number on the card, lest the authorities “lose” the envelope and forget where it is going. If you would like to add a birthday or sign up for our poster mailing list (not a listserv, one email per month), or if you would like to contribute in another way to increasing the profile of US political prisoners, email us at ppbirthday@riseup.net.
  2. A special thank you to the designer of this month’s poster. Designers are constantly bombarded with requests to work their trade for free, for publicity, or for a cause, and every month the PPBD Posters project relies on their generosity of time, skill and devotion to the cause of prison abolition. Cheers to Dylan Petrohilos for putting this month’s rad poster together.
  3. Do you need help advertising for your local Political Prisoner Letter Writing Night? Are you interested in distributing physical copies of the poster? Write to us and let’s find a way to get physical copies of our poster to you: ppbirthday@riseup.net
  4. Be sure to check out the latest Political Prisoner/Prisoner Of War every-other week update (PDF, [##]KB) by the NYC-Anarchist Black Cross. There are lots of important updates on many political prisoners. This one includes updates on Imam Jamil Al-Amin, Mumia Abu Jamal, Seth Hayes, Walter Bond, and more.

Remember: They are in there for us, we are out here for them!

Fellow Workers: Remember! We are in here for you, you are out there for us!

Until Every Cage Is Empty,

The Political Prisoner Birthday Crew

Political Prisoner Birthday Poster For October 2016 Is Now Available

October Political Prisoner Birthday Cake

Hello Friends and Comrades,

  1. Here is the political prisoner birthday poster for October.(11″x17″ PDF, 3.7MB) It is also available in color!(11″x17″ PDF, 3.6MB) Print it out and plaster your community, both in commemoration of these freedom fighters and to advertise locally for a political prisoner letter writing night. Get together with some friends in your town to send birthday cards to these fighters in our struggle. It’s an easy way to help remind them that they aren’t forgotten. If you make one, remember—don’t use anything like white-out, stickers, tape or glitter on it. We also recommend that you put a return name and address and their name and prisoner number on the card, lest the authorities “lose” the envelope and forget where it is going. If you would like to add a birthday or sign up for our poster mailing list (not a listserv, one email per month), or if you would like to contribute in another way to increasing the profile of US political prisoners, email us at ppbirthday@riseup.net.
  2. A special thank you to the designers of this month’s poster. Designers are constantly bombarded with requests to work their trade for free, for publicity, or for a cause, and every month the PPBD Posters project relies on their generosity of time, skill and devotion to the cause of prison abolition. Cheers to Robin Markle for putting this month’s rad poster together.
  3. The September 9th Strike to end Prison Slavery is still in effect in many areas of the United States, and solidarity actions are being planned for TODAY all across the planet. There has also been a call for renewed actions to support the Prison Strike on October 15-22 so if you haven’t started organizing your solidarity demonstrations, it’s time to get ready! Keep abreast current news of the struggle inside at the Support Prisoner Resistance blog, who have had in depth coverage and prisoner testimonials of the spread of this strike and campaign. Slavery ends in 2016, it’s up to all of us (inside and outside) to make it happen.
  4. Do you need help advertising for your local Political Prisoner Letter Writing Night? Are you interested in distributing physical copies of the poster? Write to us and let’s find a way to get physical copies of our poster to you: ppbirthday@riseup.net
  5. Be sure to check out the latest Political Prisoner/Prisoner Of War every-other week update (PDF) by the NYC-Anarchist Black Cross. There are lots of important updates on many political prisoners. This one includes updates on Chelsea Manning, Mumia Abu-Jamal, and more.

Remember: They are in there for us, we are out here for them!

Fellow Workers: Remember! We are in here for you, you are out there for us!

Until Every Cage Is Empty,

The Prison Books Collective

The power of language

Note: The headline in the original story uses the very term that the Office of Justice Programs has stopped using. We have re-written the headline below.

Justice Dept. agency to alter its terminology for formerly incarcerated people.

Source: Washington Post

May 4, 2016

The Justice Department is taking a number of steps to reintegrate those released from prisons and jails into society, most notably during the recent National Reentry Week, such as asking states to provide identification to convicts who have served their sentences and creating a council to remove barriers to their assimilation into every day life. Here, Assistant Attorney General Karol Mason, who has headed the Office of Justice Programs since 2013, announces in a guest post that her agency will no longer use words such as “felon” or “convict” to refer to released prisoners.

By Karol Mason

During National Reentry Week last week, federal prisons and prosecutors’ offices and local organizations held job fairs, community town hall meetings, special mentoring sessions, and outreach events aimed at raising public awareness of the obstacles facing those who leave our prisons, jails, and juvenile justice facilities each year.  The American Bar Association has documented more than 46,000 collateral consequences of criminal convictions, penalties such as disenfranchisement and employment prohibitions that follow individuals long after their release.  These legal and regulatory barriers are formidable, but many of the formerly incarcerated men, women, and young people I talk with say that no punishment is harsher than being permanently branded a “felon” or “offender.”

This new policy statement replaces unnecessarily disparaging labels with terms like “person who committed a crime” and “individual who was incarcerated,” decoupling past actions from the person being described and anticipating the contributions we expect them to make when they return.  We will be using the new terminology in speeches, solicitations, website content, and social media posts, and I am hopeful that other agencies and organizations will consider doing the same.

Full article on Washington Post.

Re-Entry in Alabama

In this article from Alabama Public Radio, the author talks about how hard it is for people leaving Alabama prisons, and efforts to assist them with re-entry. It mentions several of the prisons we receive requests from. We need to recognize that most of the people currently in prison will be getting released. What are we as society and individuals doing to help them integrate back into society and life on the outside? Ban the box is certainly a good start. But so much more needs to be done!

A note about language in this piece: this article refers to people as ex-convicts. This is dehumanizing language that identifies someone by something they have done, rather than by who they are as a human. In fact, the U.S. Office of Justice Programs committed to ending their use of that term earlier this year. So read this article just for the mentions of some of the places we serve in Alabama.

Prison Reform: “Re-entering Society”

 

For many prisoners at the Limestone Correctional Facility, the heavy bang of a steel gate is the first thing they hear when they enter the Alabama prison system. It’s also the last thing when they come out.

 “They give you a bus ticket and a check for ten dollars and they say “Have a nice life.”

That’s Brenda Lee Kennedy. She was incarcerated in the Montgomery Work Release Center for nearly five and half years before being released in November of last year.

Why should Alabama care? [Joyce White Vance, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama] says because a lot of Alabamians have done jail time…

 “The numbers that come out of the Alabama Department of Corrections say that one in four adults in Alabama has had either a felony or misdemeanor conviction.”

That’s a lot of job application forms with the little check box that asks if you’ve been convicted. Many businesses shy away from hiring people who check that box with a  yes…

Joyce Vance’s office is unusual because it’s the first in the nation to hire an attorney specifically to get inmates back into the work force when they get out of prison. The private sector is trying to help too.

Read the full article on the Alabama Public Radio website, or listen to the audio.

Political Prisoner Birthday Poster For September 2016 Is Now Available

September Political Prisoner Birthday Cake

Hello Friends and Comrades,

  1. Here is the political prisoner birthday poster for September.(11″x17″ PDF, 359 KB) Print it out and plaster your community, both in commemoration of these freedom fighters and to advertise locally for a political prisoner letter writing night.Get together with some friends in your town to send birthday cards to these fighters in our struggle. It’s an easy way to help remind them that they aren’t forgotten. If you make one, remember—don’t use anything like white-out, stickers, tape or glitter on it. We also recommend that you put a return name and address and their name and prisoner number on the card, lest the authorities “lose” the envelope and forget where it is going. If you would like to add a birthday or sign up for our poster mailing list (not a listserv, one email per month), or if you would like to contribute in another way to increasing the profile of US political prisoners, email us at ppbirthday@riseup.net.
  2. A special thank you to the designers of this month’s poster. Designers are constantly bombarded with requests to work their trade for free, for publicity, or for a cause, and every month the PPBD Posters project relies on their generosity of time, skill and devotion to the cause of prison abolition. Cheers to Patrick St. John for putting this month’s rad poster together.
  3. The September 9th Prison Strike is less than two weeks away. There are events popping off all over the United $nakes and internationally. Check the Support Prisoner Resistance website, especially the regional sidebars to plug in if you haven’t been working steadily on this historic moment thus far. It is not too late to make your mark and act against slavery in coordination with prison rebels all over the planet. Whether it is something small done with friends to promote the day or something dramatic involving hundreds on the day of the strike, every act of resistance to this prison society is amplified when we work together.
  4. On September 4th, If you live in NYC, LA, or Denver, consider donating and/or running in the annual Anarchist Black Cross Federation Running Down the Walls 5k! Do you live elsewhere? Or are you busy that day? Check this Fedbook page for other area Running Down the Walls 5Ks in your area. Buffalo NY also has a run that day. A week later, so do Minneapolis/St Paul MN, Chico CA, Seattle, Middletown CT, Lake Worth FL, and Turners Falls MA. Build up your stamina while building the ABCF’s warchest.
  5. Do you need help advertising for your local Political Prisoner Letter Writing Night? Are you interested in distributing physical copies of the poster? Write to us and let’s find a way to get physical copies of our poster to you: ppbirthday@riseup.net
  6. Be sure to check out the latest Political Prisoner/Prisoner Of War every-other week update (PDF, <400 KB) by the NYC-Anarchist Black Cross. There are lots of important updates on many political prisoners. This one includes updates on Eric King’s new address, Ramona Africa, Marius Mason, and more.

Remember: They are in there for us, we are out here for them!

Fellow Workers: Remember! We are in here for you, you are out there for us!

Until Every Cage Is Empty,

The Prison Books Collective

A Message from Eric G. King to His Supporters & Information on His Recent Transfer


PLEASE CLICK HERE TO WATCH ERIC’S VIDEO STATEMENT

On Friday morning Eric boarded a plane, leaving C.C.A. Leavenworth behind for good. He was transferred to the Grady County Jail in Chickasha, Oklahoma, which is the facility the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) uses to house prisoners during transfer when the Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City is full.

He will stay at the jail while the BOP prepares to transfer him to his designated facility. Prisoners typically stay at these transitional facilities for 1-4 weeks or even longer before being transferred, but we don’t know how long he will actually be there or where his designated facility will be.

As of right now, Eric is not receiving vegan food. Hopefully this will change quickly. We will be monitoring the situation and will ask for help putting pressure on the jail if his dietary needs are not met.

Please take a moment to send Eric a card or a letter of encouragement and solidarity during this stressful moment. Please note that his number has temporarily changed while he’s in this county jail, but he will get his old number back when he’s transferred to a federal facility. For now, please write to him at:

Eric King #114522306
Grady County Jail
215 N. 3rd St.
Chickasha, OK 73018

Also, Eric now has email access. If you would like to communicate with Eric via email while he is in Grady County, go to Smart Jail Mail, make an account, select “Grady County, Oklahoma” and enter Eric’s name. The system will send a “request” to Eric to confirm that he wants to get emails from you. It costs $0.50 per email. You add credit to your account via credit card and you pay for both the emails you send to Eric as well as the ones he sends back to you.

Political Prisoner Birthday Poster For August 2016 Is Now Available

***UPDATE: ERIC KING’S ADDRESS HAS CHANGED***
Here is a temporary address at which you can reach him:
Eric King #114522306
Grady County Jail
215 N. 3rd St.
Chickasha, OK 73018

August Political Prisoner Birthday Cake

Hello Friends and Comrades,

  1. Here is the political prisoner birthday poster for August.(11″x17″ PDF, 2MB) Print it out and plaster your community, both in commemoration of these freedom fighters and to advertise locally for a political prisoner letter writing night. Get together with some friends in your town to send birthday cards to these fighters in our struggle. It’s an easy way to help remind them that they aren’t forgotten. If you make one, remember—don’t use anything like white-out, stickers, tape or glitter on it. We also recommend that you put a return name and address and their name and prisoner number on the card, lest the authorities “lose” the envelope and forget where it is going. If you would like to add a birthday or sign up for our poster mailing list (not a listserv, one email per month), or if you would like to contribute in another way to increasing the profile of US political prisoners, email us at ppbirthday@riseup.net.
  2. A special thank you to the designers of this month’s poster. Designers are constantly bombarded with requests to work their trade for free, for publicity, or for a cause, and every month the PPBD Posters project relies on their generosity of time, skill and devotion to the cause of prison abolition. Cheers to Dylan for putting this month’s rad poster together.
  3. Do you need help advertising for your local Political Prisoner Letter Writing Night? Are you interested in distributing physical copies of the poster? Write to us and let’s find a way to get physical copies of our poster to you: ppbirthday@riseup.net
  4. Political Prisoner Chelsea Manning is having a hard month. Please take some time out of your day to do something nice for her. Talk about her case with someone who has never heard of her before, learn more about her case, and if you have the time to write her a letter or a little extra to spend, please consider sending it her way.

    After years of inhumane treatment, and having been held in conditions that the UN considers to be torture, Chelsea Manning, the Guardian columnist and whistleblower who has been in prison for years serving a 35 year sentence for exposing some of the U.S. government’s worst abuses, attempted to take her own life July 5th, 2016. Now, Army officials have informed her that she is facing serious new charges directly related to her suicide attempt.

  5. Luke O’Donovan has been released! See his support website to help him with what he needs now that he is free.
  6. September 9th is right around the corner, but there’s still time to get organized in your community to prepare for prison strike and rowdy solidarity demonstrations.

    Prisoners across the US have called for a nationally coordinated work stoppage and protest starting on Sept 9th, the 45th anniversary of Attica. The safety of these prisoners and the effectiveness of the protest depend greatly on outside support. There is a robust and expanding outside support network that you or your organization could join to participate in this, the first prisoner protest of its kind. We’re hoping Sept 9th will fundamentally change not only the dialog, but the landscape of prison in America.

  7. Be sure to check out the latest Political Prisoner/Prisoner Of War every-other week update (PDF, 347KB) by the NYC-Anarchist Black Cross. There are lots of important updates on many political prisoners. This one includes updates on the Virgin Island 3, Leonard Peltier, Chelsea Manning, and more.

Remember: They are in there for us, we are out here for them!

Fellow Workers: Remember! We are in here for you, you are out there for us!

Until Every Cage Is Empty,

The Prison Books Collective