There is an organization that is working to help residents of New York State Penitentiaries get books for them to read during their time there. While some of the New York State facilities have books available to those who are incarcerated, some of the prisoners have additional requests.

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How can you help these New York State prisoners get access to additional books?

Stack of books in a library, Stockholm, Sweden
Keith Levit

There is an organization called "Books Beyond Bars" which solely serves New York State prisons. Their mission is to "send free reading materials to indigent, incarcerated New Yorkers, supporting the literacy, self-empowerment, and imagination of some of our most disenfranchised community members."

How can prisoners get books through this organization?

Prison Hands 2

Prisoners need to request books through the organization. Requests can also be made on a prisoner's behalf through their legal team or through their family members. If Book Beyond Bars has the book (which has been donated to them by patrons) then they work to get the book to the prisoner. If the organization does not currently have the book, then they will source the book for purchase from financial contributors that people have made.

READ MORE: 5 Things You Can’t Mail to a Prisoner in a New York State Prison

How can you donate funds or books to this organization and help New York State prisoners?

Walk south along the west facing prison fence
Tim Gray

If you have books that you would like to donate, you will need to reach out in advance to make those arrangements. Are they accepting all books? At this time, they are looking for a few specific categories, so they need to you to reach out and get your book donations approved in advance. If you would like to make a financial contribution, you may do that at any time.

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