Books have the power to change lives

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First of all, I’d like to ‘thank you’ for all the books your organization has sent me. The books have been a great help and I’m learning more and more as I read. Thank you for helping me better myself with the knowledge and wisdom from books. Your program is wonderful.

To me, books are very important to prisoners because books have the power to change lives and take one out of darkness and bring one to light. A lot of inmates as myself don’t have family or anyone on the outside to send in books or other materials and we’re at a standstill as far as learning some things that one needs to know to be successful in society. But with the prison book program, inmates as myself can learn new and different things that help and make a major difference. The books that I have received from the Prison Book Program, has made me more positive. The books are maturing, inspiring and encouraging me to reach my fullest potential. It’s a true blessing to have a prison book program. I thank God constantly for this program and I pray for and bless the people who have created this program as well as the people who donate and help to make all these things possible. Thank you for changing my life and leading me to a positive path that I know will help me be successful in society. I don’t have any family or friends therefore, if it wasn’t for your program, I wouldn’t have any books. Thanks to you and everyone who’s helping. God Bless you all!

-Submitted by Frank Wings
Pontiac Correctional Center, Illinois

To get a piece of mail is very uplifting

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I would like to start by saying thanks to the Prison Book Program. Thank you for sending resources to prisoners! I would like you to know how much this program and others like it are appreciated by people like myself. It is one of the best feelings you can get in prison. The feeling that someone cares.

Books are important to prisoners because of a few reasons that come to my mind. One reason is we have a lot of idol time. We need things to keep our minds busy. We are always waiting for something, someone, to be counted, or are locked down. This is how my time is spent at the place I am incarcerated at.


Books are also important to prisoners for information and knowledge. Books are some of the only ways that people like myself can learn anything. We have no access to the internet. We have no way to further our education past a G.E.D. There are no federal grants or student loans for prisoners. For people like myself, books are the only avenue open to increase my knowledge and help further educate myself.


Yet another reason books are so important to prisoners, the simple fact that someone took the time to send us a book. This simple gesture means so much. Just thinking someone cares enough. Mail is one of the few things we as prisoners can receive. Just to hear your name called and get a piece of mail is very uplifting. It really puts a smile on your face.


Dictionaries are the most requested book because of many reasons. The reasons I use a dictionary are to check my spelling, find meanings of words from books I am reading and so other prisoners may use it if they need to. We have no resources available for our use. In the institution I am currently at, we can only go to the library twice a week. Also, only five at a time out of eighty six are allowed at the library. Most of the time, the only way to use any kind of reference book is to have one yourself.


I would like to thank the prison book program again. Every person in prison has a different situation. My situation is different from many other people but it might also be the same as many other incarcerated people. Thank you for making a difference in the life of a prisoner!

-Submitted by Robert Forbes
Santa Rosa Correctional Institution Annex, Florida