The Prison Books Collective is a Chapel Hill/Durham, NC-based anti-prison group that sends hundreds of books to prisoners in North Carolina and Alabama each month, maintains an extensive radical ‘zine (small booklets) catalog (which we will send to any state), widely distributes a monthly poster promoting political prisoner support, and publishes prisoners’ art and writing. We also work to raise awareness about the prison-industrial complex in our own community and connect with others seeking to abolish this brutally racist and repressive system. We are an official commercial 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, our Words of Fire publication of prisoners’ work, and monthly political prisoner birthday posters.
- 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.