News of Interest

Selected news stories of interest to the Freedom Reads community.

The Beacon Prison Books Project Provides Free Books to Those Behind Bars
The River Hudson Valley Newsroom by Ryan Keegan November 29, 2023

Mark Trecka (Binnacle Books) and Laurie Dick (Beacon Prison Rides Project) collaborated to create a volunteer project connecting book requests from incarcerated people in New York to readers outside who are willing to purchase copies.

3 Classics Novels That Have Made Prison Life More Bearable
Witness LA by Eulis Campbell November 27, 2023

Eulis Campbell, a currently incarcerated reader and writer, reflects on 3 books—Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, Victor Hugo's Les Miserables, and Albert Camus' The Plague-–that changed his life during his 18 years in prison.

After 20 years in and out of prison, a degree gave him a second chance. Now he's helping others do the same
The Boston Globe by Alexa Gogosz November 27, 2023

An interview with James Monteiro, founder of the Reentry Campus Program, a program helping incarcerated people finish their higher education and certification programs.

'Escape to another world': Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe on reading in prison
The Guardian by Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe November 27, 2023

Naszanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe gives the keynote speech at the Booker Prize 2023 Award ceremony in London.

My students in prison have complex pasts but are now creating new stories
Chicago Tribune by Mary Pattillo November 26, 2023

Prison educator Mary Pattillo reflects on the achievements of her students, the first 16 men to earn their bachelor's degrees from Northwestern University while incarcerated.

These Missouri inmates run their own corner of the prison. The warden is OK with that
St. Louis Post-Dispatch by Jesse Bogan November 26, 2023

A new program introduced by a warden in Bowling Green, Missouri offers incarcerated people who have demonstrated exceptional long-term behavior increased levels of autonomy and freedom as inspired by a Norwegian prison reintegration model.

Appalachian Prison Book Project spreads holiday cheer, provides a light in the darkness for incarcerated Appalachians
AOL News by Kaitlyn Eichelberger November 25, 2023

The Appalachian Prison Book Project asks for support in their mission to send books and messages to Appalachia’s incarcerated individuals by contributing to their annual "Sponsor an Incarcerated Reader" fundraiser.

Georgetown Prison Outreach Program Hosts Judge for Book Talk
The Hoya by Yolanda Lu November 17, 2023

Judge LaDoris Cordell presented her memoir Her Honor: My Life on the Bench…What Works, What's Broken, and How to Change It during a talk with the Georgetown Prison Outreach Program.

Something Wonderful is Happening in American Prisons. Really.
The New York Times by Max Kenner November 17, 2023

Kenner explores the recent change in the law to allow people who are incarcerated to receive Pell Grants after decades of being locked out of this federal program providing tuition assistance for low-income students.

Sacred Space: Why Libraries Are Essential to Incarcerated Writers
Literary Hub by Warren Bronson November 14, 2023

Incarcerated writer Warren Bronson offers an autobiographical account of the significant libraries he has passed through in his life and how each one became sacred to its patrons, employees, and community.

Book Review: It's time to rethink parole in the age of mass incarceration
The Washington Post by Kristen Martin November 6, 2023

Review of Ben Austin's latest book Correction: Parole, Prison, and the Possibility of Change, a reflection on parole and the role of second chances in an age of mass incarceration.

Prison Is a Dangerous Place for LGBTQ+ People. I Made a Safe Space in the Library.
The Marshall Project by Michael Shane Hale November 3, 2023

Michael Shane Hale, an incarcerated writer in New York, writes about being openly queer in prison and redesigning the prison library into a space of belonging.