We are college students, we are retired people and we are everyone in between.
We cannot imagine a world without books.
To understand the humanity of a society, look to their prisons. Dotoevsky
Providence Books Through Bars is a grass roots, non-profit, all volunteer
prison book program established in 2003. Requests are received for reading materials from
inmates nationwide. We fill the orders from our library
of donated books. Most of our funding comes from fundraising and individual contributions.
Books are crucial to the political, spiritual and educational
development of all people. Disadvantage has shackled the lives of nearly
all of the over 2 million people currently in our nation’s “Corrections” system. The US Dept. of
Education has determined that of the 2000 inmates released from prison
every day, more than half of them have
less than an eight grade education; they do not have the educational skill that they need to
succeed in legitimate employment.
As of 2012, over $80 billion is spent each year (DOC) to
support "corrections." Prison education programs account for about 1% of the total DOC budget. Perhaps the advantage of learning can and will make an important difference between just “doing time” and doing something DYNAMIC with their time.
Prison educational programs have been drastically cut and
most prisoners cannot afford to buy their own books. Most facilities do
not allow family and friends to send books into prisons; they must come
from a bookstore or publisher.
That's where we step in to help.
2 MILLION AMERICANS ARE BEHIND BARS
MOST ARE NON VIOLENT CRIMINALS
80% ARE PARENTS
The current mood within our penal system perpetuates punishment --
period. Rehabilitation has evolved into a foreign concept. Two-thirds of all inmates released are re-arrested. “Lock ‘em up and throw away the key;” the mantra of many. Yet,
over 70% of incarcerated Americans are guilty of non-violent crimes.
Untold numbers have been demonized and thrown behind bars for wrongful
accusations. “The land of the free“ has developed into a nation which
represents 25% of the world‘s estimated nine-million-plus prisoners,
even though the U.S. represents only about five percent of the world’s
We sit in
front of our TV screens buying into the “tough on crime” proclamations
and gaping in wonderment at 97% conviction rates. But what have any of us done to truly diminish crime or pave the way toward reducing recidivism?
Throwing our hands up serves only to contribute to perpetuating a cycle of infringement and incarceration.
Sending books to prisoners:
with literacy and education
conditions Maintains contact
with the "outside world".