Tag Archive: North Carolina

Prison Books Collective needs a new home ASAP!

UPDATE: As of April 2016, we have moved into a new place in Durham (renting a room from Recyclique). We are currently paying more in rent than we can comfortably afford, so we might look for a new, less expensive place in 2017. Let us know if you have any leads (prisonbooks (at) gmail)!


We’re an all-volunteer, non-profit based out of Carrboro, NC. Since 2006, we’ve been sending thousands of books to NC and Alabama. We are in need of a new home in the Triangle!! Please help. In March, we lose our current space, where we’ve been since 2012.

A brief description of our needs: a space to store our books, space to store folding tables and chairs, space for letters and office supplies, and room to have at least one weekly workday with 5-10 volunteers. We used to be in a 1.5 car garage, so we can have as small a space as that. We need a space that’s open and accessible to volunteers, that has parking and access to a bathroom, along with electricity (ideally heat and AC).

One idea is to share space with a church or non-profit. We can’t afford rent at this point, although might be able to afford a small monthly donation to offset costs or trade work for space.

If you have any contacts with any groups that have space they can share with us, or if you have a space we can use, let us know!! Email us at prisonbooks (at) gmail (dot) com or post on our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/prisonbookscollective/

What are our basic needs?

  • Shelves for books along one or more walls (our current shelves are about 18 feet across, by 8 feet high)
  • Climate controlled space without humidity problems and with heat. Ideally AC, but we can deal without. (We’ve worked for years out of garage-like spaces but climate control helps protect books and keep volunteers comfortable)
  • Access to a bathroom (it can be in an adjacent building, as long as it’s open to volunteers)
  • Space for a file cabinet for storing zine masters, and letters
  • Space for 2-3 folding tables and 10-12 folding chairs to be stored
  • Weekly use of the space for a 3 hours session (We’ve always had our workdays on Sunday afternoons, but we can shift if needed.)
  • Parking: about 5 cars, plus occasionally more when we have a group
  • Occasional collective meetings in the space
  • The ability to share the address of the space with the public when we advertise our volunteer workdays via our website, fliers and Facebook, etc.

Our wishes:

  • Occasional access to the space for collective members on non-workdays, to drop off supplies, pick up packages to mail, pick up book donations, sort and shelve books, staple zines, take inventory
  • Ability to receive mailed boxes of books (we occasionally get book donations from publishers, and they mail us the books. They can be sent to the home of a group member, but it would be nice if they could be sent to our space)
  • Occasional book sales (about 2-4 times/year). This would involve: The week prior, storing boxes of books in the space. The day before, setting up. The day of, taking over the space we use for the workday (or another space, if our new home has a different space in mind)
  • Being able to host fundraisers. We had a comedy show once. Maybe bingo
  • Group nights (we sometimes have larger groups want to volunteer with us, and we’d like the option to host them on a different day than our regular workday)

Please share this post with others in your network, let us know if you have ideas for a space (prisonbooks (at) gmail(dot)com). And if you’re able, we’d appreciate a donation to offset costs of the move (and our weekly postage expenses to mail books!).




2 Men Awarded $750,000 for Wrongful Convictions in 1983 Murder

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From The New York Times

DURHAM, N.C. — One year to the day after a North Carolina judge threw out their wrongful murder convictions, a state commission awarded $750,000 each as compensation to two half-brothers who spent three decades in prison, much of it on death row.

Patrick M. Megaro, the recently hired lawyer for the men, Henry Lee McCollum, 51, and Leon Brown, 47, announced the settlement. Mr. Megaro also filed a federal lawsuit against government and law enforcement officials of Robeson County, N.C., for obtaining their convictions through “fraud, perjury, coercion, the willful failure or refusal to investigate exculpatory evidence.”

A pardon by Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina in June made each man eligible for $50,000 a year in compensation from the state, up to $750,000 each. (Without a cap, the compensation for their full 31 years in prison would be more than double that amount.) The maximum was granted to each man on Wednesday by the North Carolina Industrial Commission, which oversees workers’ compensation and tort claims. (more…)

Aug.29-30: Huge Book Sale! Benefit for Prison Books

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USED BOOK SALE: August 29th-30th, the Prison Books Collective is hosting a two 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, impossible to find underground zines and books, text books, history, literature, military manuals ,contemporary fiction, art and more. 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!

August 29th-30th

Saturday 9am-2pm (Rain or Shine)

Sunday 9am-4pm (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.

Man cleared in Durham police officer’s shooting

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From WRAL

— A Durham man was acquitted Friday of shooting a police officer three years ago, with jurors convicting him only of common law robbery in the case.

Officer Kelly Stewart was shot in the thigh during a confrontation with Carlos Antonio Riley Jr. following a December 2012 traffic stop. Stewart testified that Riley was being uncooperative and shot him after the two got into a fist fight. But Riley’s defense attorney insisted that Stewart accidentally shot himself with his own gun during the struggle.

“I believed this was going to happen. My faith, my faith, my faith and prayer. Prayers going up, and prayers come down,” a relieved Patricia Riley, Riley’s grandmother, said after the verdict was announced.

“The truth always prevails over all things,” said Riley’s mother, Karen Judd. “My son always has to be honest. I taught him that. I taught him to treat people in a humane way. During this trial, they were trying to portray him as a vicious criminal.”

Stewart was unavailable for comment Friday, and Police Chief Jose Lopez expressed disappointment in the outcome. (more…)