I never knew that there was a Prison Book Program until another inmate overheard my conversation of not being able to find a certain book in our prison library. He gave me an address and explained that [the books from the Prison Book Program] are donated books at no cost to the inmate and there was a possibility I could find the book(s) I was looking for.
An inmate can either do positive or negative time during incarceration. If the inmate chooses negative time, he/she will complete incarceration and leave the same way they cam in, not making any changes. If the inmate chooses positive time, he/she will take advantage of education, cognitive skills, self-help, and spiritual or religious programs to make changes and improve their life. Unfortunately, there isn’t always books available to help the inmate gain the knowledge needed to make these positive changes.
Dictionaries [are important] because you cannot checkout a dictionary out of the prison library. A lot of reading, writing, and studying is done during lock-down time and in the inmates’ living area. There is several reasons why prisoners need a dictionary. There are inmates who are enrolled in Mandatory Literacy education program, trying to learn eighth grade-level education, and a dictionary can build his/her vocabulary. This is also the first time for many inmates to have to write to family and friends, and they use the dictionary during writing for correct spelling, to be understood, and to avoid embarrassment. I personally, as well as others, use a dictionary for definition of words when working on college correspondence classes.
I am grateful that there is a Prison Book Program available when needed. It is also nice to know that there are individuals who care enough to donate or contribute to this program. Who knows? This book program could be that one place for an inmate to find information to encourage [his/her] change so they can be successful when re-entering into society.
Financial donations are the single factor that limits the number of people we can serve. Just $3 is the average cost of mailing a package of carefully selected books from our library!
Prison Book Program
c/o Lucy Parsons Bookstore
1306 Hancock Street
Quincy, MA 02169