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Student Leadership and Service (SLS)

SLS Awards 2020 - Outstanding Community Partner

May 01, 2020

  • drawing of two hands holding a book behind black bars. the front cover has a red rose and B2P written on the spine of the book. top of the image has the words Portland Books to Prisoners and at the bottom of the image are the words Inspiring the Incarcerated.

Books To Prisoners is the recipient of this year’s Outstanding Community Partner Award.

Books to Prisoners is a volunteer-run, donation-based organization that provides free reading materials to incarcerated individuals. Books to Prisoners’ mission is to foster a love of reading behind bars, encourage the pursuit of knowledge and self-empowerment, and break the cycle of recidivism. They believe that books are tools for learning and for opening minds to new ideas and possibilities. The organization engages incarcerated individuals with the benefits of reading by mailing tens of thousands of free books to inmates across the country each year.

Founded in the early 1970s, Books to Prisoners is one of the largest and oldest prison book projects in the country, working in partnership with other groups that support prison literacy and promote social justice. Though headquartered in Seattle, they have three associate organizations – Portland Books to Prisoners, Books to Prisoners Olympia, and Books to Prisoners Spokane.

Every month, Books to Prisoners receives over 1,000 requests for books. The most popular requests are dictionaries, thesauruses, African American history and fiction, Native American studies, legal materials, GED materials, and foreign language learning materials. Other common requests include genre fiction such as westerns and horror, vocational-technical manuals, politics, anthropology, art and drawing books (including blank notebooks), and books on paranormal phenomena.

Books to Prisoners depends on volunteers to find books in their collection that fulfill prisoner requests, wrap packages of books to be mailed, and sort book donations.

To learn more about how to get involved and books donations, please visit: https://www.bookstoprisoners.net/

Portland Books to Prisoners: https://www.facebook.com/portlandbokkstoprisoners/

Portland Books to Prisoners contact info: pdxbookstoprisoners@riseup.net

For more information:

Harold McNaron
Director of Student Leadership and Service
haroldmcnaron@lclark.edu