Wisconsin Books to Prisoners brings books to LGBT prisoners nationwide

In 2007 Wisconsin Books To Prisoners began a LGBT Project thanks to a starter grant from the New Harvest Foundation of Madison.  This project sends new and used books to LGBT prisoners nationwide, addressing an often marginalized and mistreated segment of the national prison system.  New Harvest has twice renewed its support during which the Project has grown from seven prisoners who had requested LGBT materials in mid 2007 to over 860 LGBT prisoners who have received at least one package of books today.  WBTP is grateful to NHF and also to OutReach LGBT Community Center in Madison for their support and continued donations.

This year New Harvest has once again donated $1250, which will be used almost entirely for postage costs. In contrast to Wisconsin, almost all prisons in other states allow their inmates to receive used books.   We rely on donations for postage and books.  Again, donations of new and used books as well as money for postage can be sent to WBTP, Rainbow Bookstore, 426 W. Gilman St., Madison, WI 53703.  If you would like your dollars to support the LGBT Project, please write LGBT project in the memo line.  OutReach, Madison’s LGBT center, serves as the fiscal sponsor of the LGBT project allowing donations to be tax deductible.

Want to help?
Aside from donating books and funds for postage (a package of 3 books costs roughly $3 to ship), we need volunteers to help with filing, wrapping, or perhaps selling on e-bay.  For more information on how you can donate your energy to the project please contact: Camy: 608-455-2712 for WBTP and  Dennis for the LGBT project: 608-467-8877.WI Books to Prisoners, a project of Rainbow Bookstore, received another generous grant of $6000 from the Racine Dominican Mission Fund, which will enable WBTP to continue its mission of sending books free of charge to the incarcerated in WI prisons.

WBTP believes that books are educational tools that can help open minds to new ideas and fresh possibilities. By sending books to those in prison, WBTP hopes to foster a love of reading and encourage the pursuit of knowledge and self-improvement.  Given that collegiate dictionaries, thesauruses –and increasingly Spanish/English dictionaries- are so frequently requested, WBTP allocates $1,000 to purchase these books to meet demand.

WBTP continues its efforts to encourage the DOC to amend its punitive administrative rule prohibiting used books.  Given that every study on corrections recommends reading as preparation for successful re-entry into society and that 97% of prisoners will eventually return to our communities, a policy that denies prisoners meaningful literature, and provokes frustration and bitterness, just lacks common sense.

WBTP relies on donations for postage and books. If you know of persons, organizations, or programs that might contribute, e.g., organize a book drive on our behalf, please tell them about us.  We offer pick-up service for larger quantities of books in the Madison area, otherwise donation can be dropped off at Rainbow Bookstore.  Donations for postage can be sent to WBTP, Rainbow Bookstore, 426 W. Gilman St., Madison, WI 53703.  If you would like a tax-donation to be tax deductible, make the check out to the PC Foundation and write WBTP in the memo line.