Louisiana Books 2 Prisoners

We send books to prison inmates free of charge. Our goals are to encourage literacy, make prison life more endurable, and support prisoner interests to the best of our ability.

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Category: Education
Parish: Orleans
Louisiana Books 2 Prisoners (LAB2P) was started in New Orleans in 2004. Volunteers pull from a library of donated books to assemble and mail packages, free of charge, to individual prison inmates based on their requests. We serve inmates in Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, as well as women and LGBTQ inmates nationwide. In 2009, LAB2P gained 501(c)3 status. Since then, thanks to grant funding on the outside, and word of mouth inside the prison system, we have been able to expand our services to include purchasing and distributing dictionaries and GED test-prep guides. Our steadily-increasing stream of requests allowed us to shrink our service area to specifically focus on our home state and surrounding states while maintaining our approximately annual output of 1500 packages, a goal of ours for several years which equates to a total of 4500 individual books. 2016 was a record-breaking year for us: we shipped over 1800 packages for a total output of about 5,400 books. We remain the only Louisiana nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting prison literacy in this manner.

Louisiana Books 2 Prisoners relies on donations through grants and individual contributions to continue our work. Please consider donating, as you contribution will help get books into the hands of those that need them most.

These donations also allow us to purchase much needed resources such as dictionaries, study guides for high school aptitude tests, and blank journals. A minimal portion of our budget is spent on administrative expenses and we contribute our own labor for building projects. Even the bookshelves in our space were constructed by our own members with grant money specifically dedicated to that purpose.
Hello! Just want to say thank you for the books. Y'all are the bomb! What you are doing is a God send. Places like this can house our bodies, but not our minds. Have learned lots of cool stuff because of you at Louisiana Books to Prisoners. Want to say once again. Thank you!
- Letter from an inmate

Dear Books to Prisoners:
Again, I would like to thank all of you good people for all the good that you do. I am the chief cataloger in the prison's Main Prison library. I have given your address to over a dozen guys and the ones who have received books I tell them to always write back and give their thanks. This is a wonderful program you have established.
I have a list of organizations like yourself who give books to the incarcerated, but none comes close to your generosity. Although I have written to a few others, you're the only organization who have ever sent me anything and I am truly grateful.
The last three books I received hit me right on the money. Anything I can learn from is always welcomed. When I finish the books I catalog them into the Main Prison's library for all to enjoy.
I thank you again for all your considerations and hope to hear from you soon.
- Letter from Angola Prison

This is not a request, simply a Thank You and to let you know I am in receipt of your selections. Your turn around time was amazing, two weeks!
Whoever it was that made the books selections, chose wisely. I appreciate everyone's effort and look forward to the next brown package full of knowledge and understanding.
Glad to see you are helping the environment and recycling shopping bags: Go Green and Go Clean!
- Letter from a Louisiana inmate

Hello! A few months ago you sent me three of the BEST BOOKS EVER (Kingsolver's "Poisonwood Bible", Rushdie's "Sabbath's Theater" and Nabokov's "Speak Memory"). OH MAN! I was in heaven! Thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to look at my list and find me books I REALLY wanted.
I am a 37 year old female who's been locked up for 17 years. I've only written once before, but I"m still really grateful for what you guys are doing for us. Books are my whole world...
Thank you!
- Letter from a Texas inmate

Thank you for all the wonderful 'reads' you have sent me. I REALLY enjoyed 'Brave New World' by Huxley and I am currently reading 'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn...' I would love to get a few more CLASSIC - MUST READS from you. But FIrst and Foremost I wanted to tell you thank you, Merry Christmas and God Bless your family.
-Letter from an Arkansas inmate