WI DOC Ban on Used Books

Wisconsin Books to Prisoners (WBTP) is an all-volunteer non-profit organization, founded in the fall of 2006, that sends donated books, free of charge, to prisoners nationwide who write to us requesting books. From our donated stock of books, we send a package containing 2–3 books in the fields of interest they indicate. Rainbow Bookstore in Madison, WI formally sponsors our work since only authorized booksellers and educational distributors can send books into prisons.

WBTP compensates for the fact prison libraries are antiquated, under-funded, and under-staffed and that prisoners may be restricted from using the library. These conditions have significantly eroded the right of prisoners to read, to magnify, and empower themselves.


WBTP is often the last educational resort/resource for a captive and largely indigent population.

Objectives for 2009

1.  To overturn the ban that was imposed on WBTP by the WI DOC in October of 2008; this would include:

  • Continuing our work to establish the that the “permission” we received from the WI DOC regarding the shipment of new books in Nov 2008 is spurious and/or arbitrarily enforced; and
  • Continuing our work with the WI-ACLU to overturn the ban on used books in that it violates the First Amendment rights of prisoners and contradicts the mission statement of the WI DOC

2. To raise greater public awareness about the prison industrial complex and the use of policing, prisons, and punishment as a “solution” to social, political and economic problems by tabling at street fairs, organizing a traveling art show, and co-sponsoring a film discussion group with WNPJ


To Read all Correspondance between WBTP and WI DOC, please visit Madison Indymedia Center


Should WI Prisoners have the Right to Own a Used Book?

WI Department of Corrections (DOC) is currently not allowing used books to be purchased by or donated to prisoners through retail bookstores.


Please let Governor Doyle, your state representative, and DOC Secretary Raemisch know that you support prisoners’ rights to receive used books from retail bookstores.


Governor Jim Doyle

115 East State Capitol

Madison, WI 53702


608-267-6790 (TTY)


To send an Email go to : http://www.wisgov.state.wi.us/contact.asp


Call your State Representative:

Not sure who your representative is:

visit http://waml.legis.state.wi.us/


Rick Raemisch, WI DOC Secretary

3099 East Washington Ave.

P.O. Box 7925

Madison, WI, 53707-7925

Phone: (608) 240-5055

Fax: (608) 240-3305