Who we are
Asheville Prison Books is a volunteer-run collective which has distributed free literature to people incarcerated in the southeast since 1999. We currently distribute books to North and South Carolina.
What we do
Incarcerated people send us mail directly to request reading materials. Requests may be general, such as asking for a genre, or very specific, such as certain titles or authors. We have a library of mostly donated books to pull from and try to fulfill the requests as best we can. We then package the books up and mail them out.
Why we do it
We send books to folks who are locked up because it's a way to reach through the bars and show solidarity with the people trapped behind them. As a project rooted in anti-authoritarian politics, APB rejects the traditional framing of prison as the solution for crime or as a vehicle for rehabilitation; instead, we understand prison as an institution on the front lines of upholding an unjust social and economic order based in large part on white supremacy. Finding ways to connect with, humanize and meet the every day needs of incarcerated people is a crucial part of building collective power to challenge the legitimacy of this repressive institution.
We also really love books.
To learn more about prison abolition and critiques of the US prison system, check out our list of books, videos, and audio on the subject.
How we use donations
Asheville Prison Books is completely volunteer operated. All donations go towards shipping and materials.
Write to us
Prisoners can write to us at the following address to request books:
Asheville Prison Books Program
c/o Downtown Books and News
67 N. Lexington Ave.
Asheville, NC 28801
Please include your number and let us know about any book restrictions at your facility. We love to receive art as well. Let us know if you're comfortable with us posting it on our website (and how you'd like to be credited).