We are a non-profit corporation registered under the laws of the State of Florida. Our board of directors consists of people selected from several different denominational backgrounds and independent churches. They and all the others involved with Prison Book Project donate their time and individual skills.
We are currently operating in two separate facilities across the the street from each other. Our 1,000 square foot distribution center can best be described as cramped. It contains the normal office furniture, four computer stations and three work tables for stamping or packing books. There are also rows of book shelves with enough books to pack about 50 boxes before we have to run across the street to the warehouse to restock.
We have partnered with several Christian publishers and authors who send us ’returned’, ‘damaged’ and ‘overstocked’ materials at their own expense. Some publishers require that we pay the incoming freight—about $500 per pallet with a discount. We mix up this material to ensure a good assortment and send it out to build chapel libraries and book carts in prisons and jails.
Publishers send inmate mail that they receive to us which we use to build our database and whenever possible, we take care of individual requests. Mailing to chaplains is the most efficient way of getting books into facilities and into the hands of the most prisoners. We can only mail 12 packages (1 book per package) to individuals for the same cost of one box with 65 books to a chaplain. In addition, our tests indicate that a book placed in a sharing environment, such as a chapel library, will be read by at least 30 people while a book sent to individuals will usually be read by five or less.
We have a chaplain’s package which we send to new facilities interested in receiving our help. That package includes an information sheet which must be completed so that we know the amount and kind of material needed, i.e. hard backs, audio tapes, videos, CD’s etc. The chaplains are also helpful at indicating the diversity of the inmates and which specific sects of the Judeo/Christian religion we should send books for. The return of this information sheet is considered approval to ship. We normally ship one box per 500 inmates. Rotating through the states alphabetically, we usually get to each facility once a year. Our outreach is greatly impacted by the level of support we receive in any given year. As Prison Book Project continues to grow and expand it is our goal to send to each facility on a quarterly basis, but the next step is to start sending to each facility twice a year.
Letters are important and encouraging to us. When we receive especially heartwarming letters, we try to send copies back to our book providers. Prison Book Project is a team consisting of publishers, chaplains, inmates and volunteers who labor unselfishly in our distribution center. Seeing the gratitude of prisoners who have been blessed motivates us all the more in our efforts. Thank you letters reflect the love of touched lives and we often receive testimonies of how these books have led people to Jesus. It seems worth while if even one person has been helped to truly know Him.
Proudly affiliated wit: