Tag Archive: books

Orange Is Not New, and Prison Is Not Our Best Color

maxresdefaultBlog editor’s note: better late than never

From the Monthly Review

by Susie Day

Twenty-five years ago, I, a hapless reporter on assignment, went to the DC Jail and met the woman who was to be my life’s partner.  I interviewed her about her political bombing case; we fell in love; I visited her in various prisons for 11 years; she was released; we’re now spending the rest of our lives working out our relationship, which has much to do with politics and everything with what she went through in prison.

Whatta story, right?  I haven’t written much about this because I’ve found it impossible to convey what prison did to us.  But when I read Piper Kerman‘s smart, funny, heart-grabbing Orange Is the New Black, chronicling her year behind bars, I thought, “Whoa, she gets this.”  Then I caught the Netflix series based on Kerman’s book.  I now suspect the most lethal thing you can do to the truth about prison is to bring it anywhere near the entertainment industry. (more…)

Kevin is Finally Receiving Books! Thanks to Everyone Who Applied Pressure

prison-bible1-95764_200x200From SupportKevinandTyler.com

After a tug-a-war between jail superintendent Michael Waterworth and the (much more reasonable) people above him, fairness prevailed and Kevin is now receiving books.

Thanks to everyone who spoke up on Kevin’s and Tyler’s behalf (and everyone imprisoned in Woodford County).

Kevin’s book wish list is here, so if you have the means, please send him a book (or just a letter).

Thanks again for everyone’s support.

Alex Stuck, of the Tinley Park 5, Paroled

Well, Some of you may already know by now but Alex Stuck of the Tinley Park Five was paroled on Friday, November 1st.  We’re including a statement from Alex below.
Sorry it’s taken me so long to put this out. I’ve been working on my transition back in to the world and so far everyone has been great with helping me out with everything. I kinda feel like a new born, HA. Anyway, I just wanted to write something and post it up for everyone to see that I’m out now and am doing ok. Most of all I want to say thank you to everyone for helping me with everything during my incarceration.
It’s still so very surreal. Prison was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but people like all of you who exist with your endless love: I couldn’t have done any of this without you. I would also like to thank you for all the help you’ve been giving my four friends during their stint in Dante’s Inferno. It’s really hard to put into words how much all of you mean to me. Because of you I’ve been able to survive and stay strong. Your solidarity continues to leave me
speechless. (more…)

Kevin Still Hasn’t Received Books as Jail Refuses to Comply with Orders to Lift Book Ban

book-banfrom SupportKevinandTyler.com

Jail continues to enforce a de facto book ban by holding all incoming books.

Last week, Kevin Olliff ended his hunger strike after orders came from above that Michael Waterworth must lift the book ban.

Now, the jail is seeking a loophole to continue to deny books to Kevin. As of today, Kevin has still not received any book sent to him since the ban was supposed to have been lifted. (more…)

Another Huge Book Donation From World Book Night!

wbn2013We are thrilled to announce that for the second year in a row World Book Night has donated hundreds of copies of some of our favorite books.  The books come from their 2013 selection, which include The Handmaid’s TaleFahrenheit 451, The Alchemist, Good Omens, and many more. We are so excited to send these out far and wide, and wanted to share the excitement with all of y’all. So, join your nerdy comrades at the Prison Books Collective on Sundays to help us stay on top of our backlog.

We at the Prison Books Collective are delighted to put these books into the hands of prisoners. We will continue to put great works of fiction into the hands of prisoners, as well as provide quality resources to help enable prisoners to self-educate, self-organize, and challenge the roots of their conditions. If you’re able, please consider helping us by becoming a monthly sustainer of our work or making a one-time donation. Your generosity not only feeds our work, it is a part of it. Pooling resources is resistance in action.

VICTORY: The book ban has been lifted! Kevin ends hunger strike

books posterFrom Support Kevin & Tyler

The book ban has been lifted + Kevin ends hunger strike.

After 8 days on a hunger strike, jail head Michael Waterworth told Kevin Olliff he was lifting the book ban. This huge victory comes after Kevin lost close to 20 pounds over the 8 days. Kevin has now ended his hunger strike, effective immediately.

Thanks to everyone worldwide who made calls, wrote articles, and organized support during Kevin’s hunger strike. While it is always unfortunate when someone is pushed into starving themselves to receive a basic human right, we can say that from everyone’s hard work and Kevin’s sacrifice, this episode has a happy ending.

Kevin at his first meal in over a week at lunchtime on Thursday, and was given a book. He was told the books that have been sent during the book ban will be given to him by the end of the day. (more…)

Kevin Olliff is now on hunger strike

From Support Kevin & Tyler

Kevin Olliff is on hunger strike until the Woodford County Jail book ban is reversed.

It has been over 6 weeks since Michael Waterforth banned all books from entering the Woodford County Jail. The psychological toll of life in a cell without any way to pass the time has been nearly insufferable, as they are forced to waste away without even the most basic form of mental stimulation.

Today Kevin announced that he is prepared to go without food until the book ban is lifted. The hunger strike is effective as of midnight, Wednesday night.

What you can do (more…)

Tell Woodford County Jail to lift the book ban NOW

bannedbooks-200x200Editors note: Hours after their supporters posted Tyler’s and Kevin’s book wish lists, the jail announced a new rule: books are no longer allowed in the entire jail.

From Support Kevin & Tyler

For over a month now, Woodford County Jail has blocked books sent by family and friends from reaching inmates. This means that not only Kevin and Tyler, but every other inmate, has had zero access to new reading material sent from the outside—we don’t need to tell you that this is a serious violation of their First Amendment rights.

[Unfortunately, this kind of thing is not unprecedented. Read more here, here, and here.]

Grievances have been filed by Kevin, officials have been contacted by liaisons, and still there’s been no movement from Superintendent Mike Waterforth or Sheriff James Pierceall to lift this arbitrary ban.

SO START CALLING. Please contact the jail and (politely!) ask when the inmates will be allowed to start receiving books again. Let them know that you’re concerned about this infringement on free speech, and that you’ll continue to call to check back about the book ban.

Jail: 309-467-2116

Sheriff Pierceall: 309-467-2375 (more…)

This Sunday: Bag sale of over 1,000 books!

books!BAG SALE OF USED BOOKS THIS SUNDAY: This Sunday, September 15th, the Prison Books Collective is hosting a one day bag sale starting at 10am. We have hundreds and hundreds of great books that we can’t send into prisons, but that we can send home with you. Many left political titles, history, literature, contemporary fiction, art, and miscellany. This sale is a benefit to raise funds for our enormous postage costs.

This giant book sale is a great way to get some wonderful books and support the work of the Prison Books Collective.

Book Sale!

Sunday, September 15th

10am- 4pm (Rain or Shine)

621 Hillsborough Rd. in Carrboro

Map link: https://maps.google.com/maps

Bargain shoppers can stuff brown grocery bags (provided) full of books for just $10 a bag

We can take debit and credit cards.

Benefit Book Sale This Sunday! Over a Thousand Books

This is books scramble. Many books on white background.USED BOOK SALE THIS SUNDAY: This Sunday, September 8th, the Prison Books Collective is hosting a one day book sale starting at 9am. We have hundreds and hundreds of great books that we can’t send into prisons, but that we can send home with you. Many left political titles, history, literature, contemporary fiction, art, and miscellany. This sale is a benefit to raise funds for our enormous postage costs.

This giant book sale is a great way to get some wonderful books and support the work of the Prison Books Collective.

Book Sale!

Sunday, September 8th

9am- 5pm (Rain or Shine)

621 Hillsborough Rd. in Carrboro

Map link: https://maps.google.com/maps

All Books Sliding Scale! You pick out the books and decide how much you want to pay for what you find! $1 minimum per book.

We can take debit and credit cards.