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The Prison Books Collective is a Chapel Hill, NC-based anti-prison group that sends hundreds of books to prisoners in the South each month, maintains an extensive radical ‘zine catalog, 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. 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 whatsoever. 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, political prisoner birthday posters and our regular prison abolitionist reading group.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. December 29, 2011 8:35 pm

    what a great service you supply-we dont have anything like this in new zealand-the howard league maybe, and prisoners aid-but I dont think they take an active role in providing support for men and women in prison. books are so important for inmates who are shut off from the world outside. keep up the good work!

  2. May 16, 2012 5:49 pm

    I am for anyone who reaches out to prisoners in such a formum because people have been mislead on some issues as to why they wind up in such a place,they need not be mistreated because they faultered in life .forgiveness is a great power and we should learn to use it .would we want to be feed any ole thing or kept out of the learning or even be reached out to cause we made a mistake .sometimes it is our mistakes that drove them to the breaking point of destruction anyway,yes it is their final choice that brings it to the thing that landed them there ,ending it with this a soul can use to be revived in any setting or position

  3. ann permalink
    May 18, 2012 10:33 pm

    good to hear your comment sunshine. i hope you have access to some good reading whereever you are. the pen is mightier than the sword! reading should be enjoyable as well as informative. go well. blessings, Ann

  4. john sigalas permalink
    July 12, 2012 3:13 am

    how do i get past copies of words of fire because i have drawn lots of pieces for your zine and since my release i have not been able to contact yall

    • July 13, 2012 3:23 am

      email us your address and we’ll mail them to you.

      • Jimmy Harkin permalink
        August 13, 2014 11:57 am

        I am going to send you on papers and magazines for prisoners to read. Please write back and let me know if you are still doing this Jimmy.

  5. Anna permalink
    September 14, 2012 4:16 pm

    I would like to connect an inmate to a service so that he could receive books. How can I do this? Anna

    • September 14, 2012 4:21 pm

      What state is this person located in? We serve MS, AL, and NC. But we can give you info on groups that serve other regions.

      • Anne Emerson permalink
        December 26, 2014 6:31 pm

        I write to two prisoners, one at Polk and one in Lanesboro. Can I get reading material to them through you? I am in Boston and feel very remote from the awful situation they are in and wish I had a better way to monitor what’s happening in these two prisons.

  6. Holly permalink
    November 2, 2012 8:15 pm

    Hi. This is Holly at The Sun magazine. I wrote you about donating copies of the book Sunbeams and you were checking to see if you can manage to find space for them. Have you had any luck?
    Thanks for all that you do.

  7. Amy permalink
    August 24, 2013 6:07 am

    Is there a drop off for book donations? Where is the location and times that you are opened? I have a closet full of books that I need to get rid of.

  8. December 3, 2014 3:28 am

    How does one get an inmate on your list to get books.

    • December 3, 2014 3:30 am

      He is in Texas. i see you commented to another person about the states you service. If you know of a place services Tx it would be greatly apperciated.


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