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Prison Library Project

The Prison Library Project’s mission is to provide free reading materials to inmates nationwide. We prioritize educational and self-help literature and recognize the value of literacy development through active engagement with books in general.

About the PLP



Join us at the Bookshop! We have a flexible schedule and would love to have you volunteer with us!

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Is your group looking for a volunteer opportunity? Let us know - we love groups!

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Service Learning

We have opportunities for internships and can help you complete service hours.

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Dictionary Program

Why Are Dictionaries So Important?


Dictionaries represent up to 25% of the requests we receive, and we send out approximately 200 dictionaries per month at a cost of roughly $1,000 (plus postage). However, we must purchase NEW dictionaries because, in most states, prisoners are not allowed to receive used dictionaries. Sadly, we are not currently able to respond to all requests for dictionaries, because of the expense to purchase new ones.

Dictionaries are a vital resource for inmates completing educational programs while incarcerated. We know that inmates who complete their education have a 43% lower rate of recidivism. ¹ The PLP believes in supporting these men and women with much-needed tools to improve their chance of success.

¹ Literacy Behind Prison Walls - National Center for Education Statistics

I am serving three life sentences. Many people would view the effort to send someone like me a book as a waste of time. I have no future. But, books are essential to my life. I am so grateful that you understand. Books keep me focused and on a positive path. 

Jamison W., Waverly VA


How Do We Put Your Donations to Work?

Every donation supports the Prison Library Project. Below are our priority project allocations:

Resource List

We connect inmates with other prison book programs. We also print a nationwide resource list that links inmates to other health, wellness, education, legal, and social services.


Our primary use for financial donations is to purchase postage. We were able to allocate $2000 or more for monthly postage in 2022. 

Educational Resources

Each year, we purchase hundreds of dictionaries, Spanish-English dictionaries and other ESL resources, GED study guides, and more. In order to support prisoners as they work through educational programs or work to develop their own literacy skills.


We have been able to purchase other books that are unique to the experiences of those incarcerated. We are always looking for titles that uplift, encourage, and support those in prison.

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