Prison Library Project


The Prison Library Project’s mission is to provide free reading materials to inmates nationwide. We prioritize educational and self-help literature as well as recognize the value of literacy development through active engagement with books in general.

The PLP offers services to a wide range of communities within the prison system: librarians, chaplains, drug/alcohol recovery groups, domestic abuse and HIV/AIDS support groups and others.

Our goal is to promote literacy, personal responsibility, reflection, and growth.


What We Do

The PLP receives more than 300 letters a week from inmates in 600 state and federal prisons and detention centers throughout the United States.

We mail over 15,000 packages of books each year to individual inmates. We also send boxes of books to prison librarians, educators, and chaplains. Our weekly postage bill is about $600. We raised and spent over $32,000 in postage in 2018.

We also have an online blog directory of national resources for prisoners called The Ways & Means Resource List. Over 700 inmates, and their friends and family, visit our blog each month for resource links and addresses.

  • The dictionary helps me study! I am getting my high school diploma in here soon. Thank you!"

    Inmate Texas
  • It is hard to not go crazy in here. These books are my lifeline. I don't get much mail anymore. Your group feels like the only people in the world who know I'm alive.

    Inmate Georgia
  • This non profit is amazing. Wonderful store, more than reasonable prices, great quality and quantity of titles, super staff and loads of volunteers from the college. I pick up books from individuals who want to donate and drop them off here.

    Gene F. Bookshop Customer
  • Great farmers market. Most of it's organic and the people are super friendly. Not all are from the immediate area but still good produce. We've been going here for years and will continue to.

    Steve B. Farmers & Artisans Market Customer
  • I've learned a lot in prison. I guess that was the point! The prison doesn't provide the kind of books I really need, the PLP does. Fiction helps me escape, helps me see the world from another perspective. I've reread the books you sent me many times. I look forward to new books so much. Thank you for what you do.

    Inmate Texas
  • This bookstore is well-organized and they are super friendly. All proceeds go to the Prison Library Project. I donated books and found great reads for just $1. Don't miss this place the next time you're in the Village.

    Susana A. Bookshop Customer
  • I'm finally learning how to read and spell!

    Inmate Chino, CA
  • Thank you for the dictionary. It has been put to good use! It has helped me get through the GED program. I am being released in a few months and I will leave the dictionary to a friend who is also earning his GED. It is nice to know people are out there who still care. I'm looking forward to starting my life again.

    Inmate California
  • Great way to spend my Sunday mornings with coffee in my hand. Love getting the sunflowers, and visiting vendors who sale organic produce. The apples are super sweet. Took the kiddos one morning and they received worms as they were taught how to compost. Love it!

    Lakeisha H. Farmers & Artisans Market Customer
  • Thank you in advance for the books you send to me. These books mean a lot to people in my situation. I'd be lost without your services.

    Inmate Menard, IL


We openly invite inmates to embrace the PLP’s mission and foster a deep appreciation for the world of books, ideas, and education. We hope to help those who receive our materials to learn to take charge of their lives in positive ways and to return to society with new abilities, awareness, and the confidence to contribute to their families and communities in meaningful ways.


Prison Library Project​ c/o The Claremont Forum
915-C W. Foothill Blvd, PMB 128
Claremont, CA 91711
(909) 626-3066


Support the  Prison Library Project and your donation helps us with postage and the purchase of much needed dictionaries.
Thank you for your support!


Dictionaries are the most frequently requested book at the PLP



Located in the Claremont Forum’s Bookshop & Gallery in Claremont’s historic Citrus Packing House, The Prison Library Project was been a Claremont institution since 1986 and is now a major service project of the Claremont Forum.

The Prison Library Project has grown into a sizable volunteer organization with a distinct vision and identity. The purpose of the Project is to supply books, free of charge, to any inmate who requests them. We try to provide an ongoing invitation to prisoners to embrace responsibility, growth, and a deeper appreciation for the world of books, ideas, and education.


The PLP receives many requests for dictionaries each week. It is our most requested book! This resource helps so many as they make their way through educational programs. This simple tool can be a powerful aid in developing literacy and confidence for struggling readers.

Unfortunately, our supply is always short of demand. A purchase of a new paperback dictionary is a great way to help our project.

Follow the link below or purchase any new or used paperback dictionary today! Please drop it by or ship it to

The Prison Library Project c/o The Claremont Forum
586 W. 1st St, Claremont, CA 91711

Thank You!