Resource Guides

With every package of books, we send a list of resources for prisoners around the country.  By providing prisoners information about places they and their families can turn for support, advocacy, health care information, and outlets for their creativity, we offer a much-needed lifeline to the outside community.

Resource Guide for Prisoners in NC and AL (pdf) National Prisoners Resource List (pdf, 51kb) Legal and Prisoner Support Resource List (pdf, 14 kb)

We The People Legal Primer

Quincy’s Prison Book Program publishes a popular 40-page legal primer for prisoners called “We the People.” Originally authored by an ex-offender, this comprehensive legal resource has become one of their most frequently requested titles. Containing such useful and basic legal essentials such as what to wear to a court appearance, key legal terms, and Post-Conviction Remedies. We the People Legal Primer

How To Start A Prison Books Collective

This manual is designed to help the reader start and maintain a prison book program. It is not meant to be taken as an absolute, but as friendly advice when devising your own policies and procedures. We hope that this humble contribution will help other prison books groups get started and expand the important work of sending political, legal, and self-educational resources to prisoners. How To Start A Prison Books Collective

Zine Catalog

In addition to resource guides, we also publish a number of short texts revolving around the themes of prison resistance, anti-racist and anti-capitalist struggles, radical history, and also writings by political prisoners themselves. The following are some downloadable examples of these texts; for a more complete selection view our ‘zine catalog.

3 Positions Against Prison

A brief but thorough criticism of contemporary political prisoner support and prison abolitionist movements. Strongly taking to task several trends, including the separation of political from social prisoners in leftist practice and the gradualist reformism of the abolitionist movement, this text is a powerful statement on what it means to be an anarchist with regards to prison.

An Updated History of the New Afrikan Prison Struggle

This publication, written by Black freedom fighter and political prisoner Sundiata Acoli, presents a broad but thorough overview of the various social movements, organizations, and historical trends that make up black prisoners’ struggles for liberation.

Black Anarchism

This is a short talk by Ashanti Alston, former Black Panther and Black Liberation Army combatant, on his introduction to anarchism while in prison. It offers some useful points of departure for folks just starting to think about the relevance of anti-authoritarian ideas to the black community, as well as new ways of thinking about international struggles.

Death by Regulation and Message from a Death Camp

Two articles by ex-Black Panther Russell Maroon Shoatz, on the various strategies of solitary confinement and control units used to discipline and manage prison rebels.

Defiant Hearts: Birth and the Prison Industrial Complex

United States prisons and jails are currently housing more than 170,000 mothers. Approximately 2,000 babies are born to mothers in prison each year. In a world where millions are sent to death camps [prisons] and the only solutions that most people on the outside propose are modifications to these death camps, what are those of us who still possess our hearts and spines to do? Defiant Hearts advocates the utter annihilation of prisons, the destruction of capitalism, and the overthrow of civilization.

Supporting underground and independent midwives; making midwifery care accessible to all; redefining criminality; creating alliances in and outside prison walls; and identifying prison reformists/sympathizers as enemies who wish to recuperate us: all are decent places to start in our work to eradicate the prison industrial complex, as well as necessary steps to creating truly self-reliant communities, empowered women, and autonomous families.

Exposing “Little Guantanamo:” Inside the CMU

By political prisoner Daniel McGowan, this is a very important expose and analysis of the ominous and unconstitutional new prison facilities, the Communication Management Units. It contains new information, straight out of the CMU, and it will be a real asset in our efforts to counter the US government’s war on dissent and free speech, in and outside of the prison system.

I Will Not Crawl: excerpts from Robert F. Williams on Black Struggle and Armed Self-Defense in Monroe, NC

This publication offers a brief biographical sketch of an incredible man named Robert F. Williams, along with several chapters excerpted from his famous 1962 book Negroes with Guns. Though less well known than more urban groups like the Black Panthers, the words and actions of Monroe, NC’s militant NAACP chapter were tremendously influential on later organizations that advocated self-determination, autonomy, equality, and self-defense.

Liberation or Gangsterism: Freedom or Slavery

This is a new text by Russell Maroon Shoatz, a prisoner targeted for his role in the Black Panther Party, the BLA, and the killing of a Phildaelphia police officer over thirty years ago. The text focuses primarily on the recuperative function of what Shoatz terms “gangsterism” within past and present-day social movements. If you work with a group that corresponds with prisoners interested in the politics and history of gangs and gang truces, this is a great resource.

Notes on the Arab Spring This is a compilation of essays and a timeline about recent uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East, with a focus on their relevance to struggles in North America.

Race Treason Behind Prison Walls

One of the most popular zines we send, this was written by ex-Black Panther Lorenzo Ervin about his experiences behind bars. It is an excellent piece on the role of race as both a dividing and unifying factor in prison struggles.

The Stockade Stood Burning

This zine covers an obscure but phenomenal story of coal miners’ and convicts’ joint rebellion against the convict leasing system in post-Civil War Tennessee. Touching on the issues of prison growth, racial identities in the South, the limitations of demand-oriented movements, and the application of contemporary insurrectionary perspectives in understanding historical phenomena, it is “required reading” for anyone interested in appalachian social movements, anti-prison struggles, or the historical positioning of the Southern white worker.

Voices from the Tombs of H-CON

A prisoner at Polk CI in Butner, NC recently published this account of life in solitary (specifically, HCON). It functions as an expose of the torturous conditions of solitary confinement in America.

What Better Time Than Now?…Notes on Unity and Consciousness in US cities and Prisons

This is a new piece of prisoner’s writing on unity, truce efforts, and political consciousness in US gangs. The zine presents a number of interesting topics like the forming of identity through historical consciousness and revolt, the co-optation of such identity through musical and artistic forms, and the role of street gangs in the rebellions of the future.

Of particular note is the connections the piece draws between the lived experience of the author, a self-identified gang member and “social” prisoner, on the one hand, and the analysis of well-known anti-authoritarian and/or anti-colonialist heads like Lorenzo Ervin, Russell Maroon Shoatz, and Frantz Fanon, on the other. Many writings of these kinds come from the pens of known “political” prisoners; we’ve  been excited to correspond with and present a discussion on gang truce and prison organizing efforts from a prisoner with a slightly different background.

The Prison-Industrial Complex is…

A short illustrated zine describing the prison-industrial complex and personalizing its devastating effects..

World Behind Bars: The Expansion of the American Prison Sell

This is a fantastic introduction to the ways prisons work, how the prison-industrial complex is driven, along with some advice for folks trying to bring it all down. It is written by two anarchists who did time for anti-war related activity, after they began doing workshops on the subject and started putting together peoples’ responses as well as their own experiences. We’ve sent many hundreds of this publication behind bars.

On Women and Violence This zine contains two essays on the subjects of feminism, gender, and self-defense. The first, “Justice is a Woman with a Sword,” is a classic critique of pacifism from the second wave. The other, “From Abolition to Action,” is a more recent piece by author Vikki Law drawing out recent trends in women’s and community self-defense efforts from a prison abolitionist perspective.

NC Prisoner Newsletters

The following two magazines are published by two North Carolina anti-prison organizations. These newsletters are an interesting insight into prisoner organizing.

Proposals: A North Carolina Prisoner Newsletters

This publication has the aim of exploring the connections between anarchists on the outside and prisoners on the inside and spreading news and analysis throughout prisons; it’s filled to the brim with prison-related news, reportbacks from prisoners, discussions of strategy, tactics, and theory. Issue 1. Issue 2. Issue 3. Issue 4.

The Black Rose

The Black Rose is a semi-monthly, regular newsletter sent out to prisoners all over NC, providing prison and social movement-related news and updates both from around the world and specific to NC. Content is largely driven by direct reports coming in from prisoners. Issue 1. Issue 2. Issue 3. Issue 4.


  1. m

    can i sign up on the email list? thanks

  2. Tranzmission

    The ‘zine “race treason..” has an error. Would you mind fixing it?

    1. prisonbookscollective

      sure what is the error?

      1. Kat

        no/ incorrect link for ::

        What is the Prison-Industrial Complex?
        Race Treason Behind Prison Walls
        World Behind Bars: The Expansion of the American Prison Sell

  3. Pingback: Proposals: Reflecting on an Anarchist/Prisoner Publication « Internationalist Prison Books Collective

  4. Music Cops Resent

    The link to your “We The People Legal Primer” at the top of this page, the 5th link in the second paragraph, goes to a page that can’t be found
    . The link is supposed to be (I guess)
    Lots of info here, gracias

  5. Kim

    Hello! Just wanted to let you know the link for the Prison-Industrial Complex article goes to a PDF of PBP National Prisoner Resource List.

  6. Teresa Gallop

    My name is Teresa Gallop, and i was an inmate at NCCIW. I wrote a letter to the Black Rose concerning the medical neglect at this facility, and it was published. although it helped to get the word out of the grossly, inadequit health care that go’s on in this prison, it has not made any difference to society that people are dieing there because of it. Please people stand up for what is right, we are human beings regardless of why we are there. Keep up the good work, just maybe someone somewhere will listen.”A Womans Cry for Help”, I am still fighting for my disability that the prison filed for me, all because i was medically neglected.

  7. Lisa Dawson (@endsolitary)

    Just wanted to let you know the link for “What is the Prison-Industrial Complex?” is broken. Thanks

    1. prisonbookscollective

      We update the link and found an updated zine. Thanks!!

  8. chicanogets113years

    If I can be a part of any type of voice for reform in NC, please let me know. The legal system here is insane, as more and more people with color are racially profiled and discriminated against. I would never have thought that in America there were so many of us innocent behind bars just to further the career of a white man. I had no idea….thanks for the pdf, will check it out. We need a voice at Marion Correctional…

  9. B

    Hey… I’m trying to get a list of prisoner resources together for NC, SC, and GA.(… Possibly TN) to mail out with AVL Prison Books. The only link that works on your site is for NC, AL, MS. If at all possible could you get the national list link working again? If you have something more regionally relavent that would be awesome because I’m not quite sure where to start. On a side note…I’m also trying to compile a condensed legal aid book/zine to mail out as we have a 2 lb weight limit and legal books are requested all the time. Just wondering if this already exists or if anyone has tips for good places to start. Thanks!!!

    1. prisonbookscollective

      Thanks for letting us know those links were broken. They are now repaired. The We the People Legal Primer is a great option for people looking for legal materials.

  10. tony roy

    My son would love to receive some free fantasy books at his prison and your resource guild. his name is michael allen r6113 cmcf area 3 a 1 po box 88550 pearl ms 39288 thank you very much

    1. prisonbookscollective

      Hi! Our collective is no longer sending to Mississippi, in part due to just not being able to keep up with the massive number of requests from NC and AL. We hope that a group starts up to fill that need, but have no info pending at the moment. It might be worth checkout out the New Orleans group?

      1. Melissa

        Hello, do you send books to VA inmates? My fiancée is searching for different things to read, as the facility he is in does not offer many books to the inmates. If you can help, he is interested in mystery/ suspense, but will be grateful for whatever can be sent. His information is : Kris Knode – NRVRJ H211 p.o. box 1067 Dublin VA 24084. Thank you

        1. prisonbookscollective

          We do not, you could look up the Asheville Prison Book Program – last i checked they send there. Good luck!

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