The purpose of the Prison Book Project is not to entertain or coddle criminals. The thousands of men and women who are processed through the jail and prison systems throughout the United States are people!
They come in many different types and are from many different backgrounds. Some are scared, some are confused, and some are evil. Some can be changed and others will never change. The ones that can be changed are the target of this program
Prisoners Read! As one chaplain put it, "they will read anything; the Bible, a Playboy magazine or the label from a soup can. They have lots of time. If we supply them with good, Christian materials, lives will be changed."
Books Educate! Books help equip inmates to minister to other inmates. Books are discussed among inmates; the uneducated become educated just by overhearing these discussions. Faith becomes stronger and has a firmer foundation. And recruitment by other religions will be less likely to succeed.
Books Are Continuous! Books continue to teach long after the teachers have gone. For eight hours average reading time, we calculate that one box of books can do 5.19 man years of ministry time - without vacations!
Map showing the location of more than 1,100 prisons and jails nationwide that receive boxes of books from the Prison Book Project. (Click map to enlarge.)
Operation of Love
We have no paid staff; all work is done by volunteers. Our overhead is kept at a minimum. Our largest expenses are shipping in the books and shipping them back out. We ship only Christian books to prisons, but provide 50% non-religious books to the Brevard County Jail (and those non-religious books are carefully scrutinized).
There are an additional 1200 facilities requesting resources, and in order to meet this demand, we need materials, money, and manpower.
We operate on donations. We do not receive any government funds. All donations are tax deductible.
We send books to jail and prison chaplains for distribution to chapel libraries and book carts. Each box we ship contains an average of 45 books. Our data indicates that each book will be read by 30 people as it stays in the facility and is shared. Think about this calculation: 30 people x 45 books = 1,350 people reading Christian material! That's for each box we ship!