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The mission of Urbana-Champaign Books to Prisoners is to provide books to inmates in Illinois, to facilitate a quality volunteer experience, to offer a venue for inmates to tell their own stories, and to educate ourselves and our community about prisons.  

Books by Mail
UC Books to Prisoners accepts request letters from Illinois inmates, finds books that meet their needs and provides them at no cost to the inmates. In conjunction with Spineless Books, we also publish prisoners’ writings and art works.

We do this in part as a creative way to address the poor selection of books available in many prisons, to let prisoners know they not forgotten, to remind us that prisoners are part of our community, to encourage literacy, to share our enthusiasm for literature, and to educate ourselves and the public about life in prison.

Jail Libraries  
UC Books to Prisoners works with volunteers from our community, public libraries and officials from the Champaign County Sheriffs Office to staff lending libraries in both of our local jails.

In addition to providing thousands of books (donated by our community) to these libraries, our volunteers staff the libraries each week and interact directly with the inmates. This is a truly unique opportunity for anyone who would like to be paired with an other volunteer to server for two hours a month as a volunteer in our local jails. To get involved or to request more information, please send us a message.