Who We Are

         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.


            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 population.

            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
        Combats recidivism

                    with literacy and education

  Provides escape
        from demoralizing conditions
                       Maintains contact
                           with the "outside world".

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Our Logo  1k v. 3 Feb 2, 2011, 6:19 AM Carol Wiseman