Inmate looks forward to library days and starting new books


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Dear Prison Book Project,

Thank you very much for the books you sent me. It was really nice to come back to my unit this afternoon and find your package waiting for me at the officer's desk. I had a feeling today was going to be a great day!

Since I was going to write you a thank you anyway, I figure I could at least make a testimonial about why books are important to prisoners. Or why they are important to me:

I am currently on my 8th year of a 20 year sentence. Life becomes a lot different when you do time. On the outside, life is always so fast, and it's all about you. Your world revolves around your desires. After a few years in prison, many of us finally get our heads pulled out of our posteriors enough to look around and realize that it's not 'all about us'. Other people matter and not just for what they can do for you. And we begin to change.

For me, I looked back on my life and found that the people I respected the most had God in their life so I made a commitment to trust Him and make Him the center of my life.

How do books fit in with this change? Well, the more I changed, the more I saw that television glorified the kind of life I lived that got me in here. I came to hate television. Besides work, religious services, and friendly games with other inmates, I love to read. I can experience other lives I could have had if I made better or different choices, I can travel to the past or future, and I can learn about things I never had time for out there. Sure, nobody wants to go to prison, but if you're here, you might as well make the best of it.

The key to doing time is to be able to look forward to something. I look forward to library days. And starting new books. So, coming back from work today and getting your package of books kinda made me feel like I did as a kid on Christmas morning. You made me very happy.

Thank you!

Gratefully yours,
Jason Cox
McNeil Island Correction Center, Washington


Lisa said...

Thank you for sharing this letter with your supporters. I love prison book, and it's wonderful to hear first hand the difference it's making for prisoners who are working hard at becoming themselves. Keep up all your good work, and I hope to make it over to volunteer again very soon.