Discussion Forums - Random Acts of Kindness (RAOK) Random Acts of Kindness (RAOK)

Topic: Books to prisoners

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Books to prisoners
Date Posted: 5/13/2010 11:42 AM ET
Member Since: 11/8/2007
Posts: 1
Back To Top

Has anyone ever organized a group to do this? I have books and magazines I would like to donate to prisoners but not sure how to do this. looking for any tips. And how come PBS hasn't done this? I see they donate to the military and schools, why not prisons?





Date Posted: 5/13/2010 11:54 AM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2007
Posts: 1,739
Back To Top

A UBS here used to donate to the local jail.  I guess I would get in contact with different prisons or jails, and see if its possible first.

Date Posted: 5/13/2010 5:31 PM ET
Member Since: 4/8/2007
Posts: 21,090
Back To Top

i know that if you mail a book to a prisoner.. it has to be from the bookstore directly to them... not thru you..

to a jail inmate.. i dont know

Last Edited on: 5/13/10 5:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/13/2010 9:24 PM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2008
Posts: 80
Back To Top

or a chaplain. usually they are able to recieve and hand out stuff.

Date Posted: 5/21/2010 2:59 PM ET
Member Since: 1/28/2009
Posts: 15,129
Back To Top

There is a PBS member who asks for Christian books/bibles.  They have a ministry that distributes them to prisons.

Can You Provide Gently Used Bibles and Christian Books for People in Prison

I have mailed to them a couple of times.

Date Posted: 5/21/2010 5:32 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
Back To Top

Each Jail has different rules as to what they accept. Its not as easy as sending books to the military.

We have a program that I run at work. Sending books to people, we used to lend to a local prison but stopped due to the amount of work it took.
Loads of forms, rules for what could be sent and what couldnt, each book had to have a sticker saying it had been looked through for any weapons or notes in the margin (no writting of any kind was allowed) and various other things that included what they were sent in.

You would be better off contacting A prison and finding out their rules. Sending to various different ones could be rather confusing.
Also yes some do not allow any books that are not from a bookstore (new books only).

Or like has been suggested above donate books to a group who already puts books in the prisoners hands.

Date Posted: 5/25/2010 3:18 AM ET
Member Since: 4/19/2009
Posts: 68
Back To Top

I work in a county jail and I am allowed and do donate my books or any that people give to me. They just can't be hard cover and I have to go through them personally to make sure they don't contain contraband. If they are given directly to a paticular inmate they have to come through the mail from a publisher. They allow the workers at my facility to donate books. I think about 50% of the books I have probably donated. I find them at the Good Will and yard sales.

If you wanted to go through your local facility I would talk to the jail administrator or the jail chaplain as to how you can donate. They would be able to help  you out and I am sure that the inmates would appriciate the new reading material. They have very little to do with themselves and I know the Corrections Officers appreciate anything that keeps them occupied and out of trouble!

Date Posted: 5/26/2010 2:24 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
Back To Top

One thing we found when dealing with request from inmates, they wanted alot of those romance books..not sure if that is still the case but found it amusing.. shows they aren't all tough to the core :)