Prison Books Collective Publishing and Distribution is a Chapel Hill/Carrboro/Durham, NC-based anti-prison group that sends hundreds of books to people in prisons and jails in North Carolina and Alabama each month, maintains an extensive radical ‘zine (small political booklets) catalog (which we will send to any state), and publishes a zine of art and writing by people in prison.
Mission: We are an all-volunteer group founded in 2006 that sends free books to people in NC and AL prisons, and zines nationwide. We strive to reduce the isolation and expand the minds of people in prison by sending free reading materials.
Through Oct. 2017, a sister project widely distributed a monthly poster promoting political prisoner support (you can find past posters here). We also work to raise awareness about the prison-industrial complex in our own community and connect with others seeking to end this brutally racist and repressive system. We are a non-profit book distributor and publisher.
Our collective formed in early Spring of 2006 with the purpose of getting reading materials into the “gulag archipelago” that is the US prison system. In geographic coordination with similar groups, we ended up reaching out primarily to prisoners in Mississippi, Alabama, and central and eastern North Carolina. (We now serve Alabama and all of North Carolina, but not Mississippi.) Through this process, our group has become something of a lifeline for thousands upon thousands of people who otherwise are completely disconnected from any support base. With the goals of providing vital political and self-educational resources to prisoners, as well as spreading a radical critique of the prison system on both sides of the wall, our group has expanded to include several different projects. These now include the free books program, our ‘zine catalog, and our Words of Fire publication of prisoners’ work.
- Check out this page to get involved!
- If you have a friend, family member or comrade in jail or prison in NC or Alabama, who would like to receive free books, have them mail us a request (see our mailing address). We also sometimes accept requests via email (see our contact page for the email). Be sure to include their name, prisoner number, ideally location, and what sorts of books they’d like.
- If you have a friend, family member or comrade in a jail or prison outside of NC or AL, please check out a list of other books to prisoner programs maintained by the Massachusetts-based: Prison Book Program. In addition, we have a list of other groups sending books to prisoners on our website.