If you find an article or other media about our work, please send us the link at BooksToPrisoners@Live.com.
In March 2019, the Washington State Department of Corrections (WA DOC) prohibited state prisons from accepting used books mailed to individuals, alleging that they could be used to smuggle drugs. Books to Prisoners successfully challenged this decision. Support from local media was invaluable in rallying public opinion behind incarcerated people’s right to read.
- 4/1/2019 Washington Prisoners May No Longer Be Able to Receive Donated Books The Stranger
- 4/1/2019 Washington State Prisons Ban Used Book Donations KING 5 News
- 4/3/2019 Washington Department of Corrections Quietly Bans Book Donations to Prisoners from Non-Profits Book Riot
- 4/4/2019 Officials quietly banned prisoners from receiving used books through the mail. Outcry is now drawing concern in Olympia. Seattle Times
- 4/8/2019 Washington DOC quietly bans prisoners from receiving used books video clip, KIRO 7 News. transcript
- 5/9/2019 Books to Prisoners: Action is Still Needed Seattle Collegian
- 7/2/2019 “Released” podcast interview with program coordinator Joan. About ten minutes in, Joan describes how prison literacy programs around the country pushed back against used-book prohibitions in Pennsylvania and Washington. We’d be delighted if any one wants to transcribe this.
Books are a Lifeline to Prisoners, June 2017, Forward Reviews
The Freedom of Reading, October 2016, American Libraries
Criminal Justice Charity of the Week: Books to Prisoners, October 2016, Undisclosed podcast
Eric’s heroes: Bringing books and hope to those behind prison walls, October 2016, KOMO News
The banning of books in prisons: ‘It’s like living in the dark ages’, September 2016, The Guardian
By refusing to accept used books, two state prisons block inmates preparing for life on the outside, July 2014, Real Change
Short on words: Nonprofit struggles to fill prisoners’ need to read, April 2012, Real Change
When Did Used Books Become Contraband?, August 2007, Seattle Weekly