Books to Prisoners
2020 Prowda Award Winner
Books to Prisoners is a Seattle-based nonprofit organization whose 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, and they engage incarcerated individuals with the benefits of reading by mailing tens of thousands of free books to inmates across the country each year. In 2015, the City of Seattle recognized Books to Prisoners as a Human Rights Leader.
Books to Prisoners was founded in the early 1970s and is sponsored by Left Bank Books. As one of the largest and oldest prison book projects in the country, Books to Prisoners works in partnership with other groups that support prisoner literacy and promote social justice. Though their headquarters are in Seattle, they have three associate organizations—Portland Books To Prisoners, Books To Prisoners Olympia, and Books to Prisoners Spokane—who offer opportunities for volunteers and donors outside of Seattle.