Prevent Crime by Supporting Prisoner Literacy

Target: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Goal: Increase funding of Books to Prisoners programs and use higher education to inspire delinquents to rise from a life of crime.

The United States currently houses more than 2 million prisoners, many of whom are uneducated and know little more than a life of violence and crime. Reading books can liberate inmates from the mental imprisonment that has earned them their physical confinement in the first place.

Every year, thousands of books are requested by prisoners, and many of these requests go unfulfilled. There is a great need to fund programs that donate books to prisoners, for while we have the criminal population within the confines of concrete and barbed wire, why not take the chance to educate them? What better way to occupy the endless time a mind has in imprisonment? The state must take advantage of this opportunity to educate those who have not been exposed to the possibilities beyond a criminal life and to mold, mature, and inspire these minds with the priceless abundance of literature.

As author Philip Pullman wisely states, “We don’t need a list of rights and wrongs, tables of dos and don’ts; we need books, time, and silence.” Sign this petition, and use your voice to amplify the demand to educate state prisoners and to improve society as a whole.


Dear California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation,

The bodies and minds of thousands of criminals are within the confines of your prisons, grudgingly waiting to be released to the lives that led them to imprisonment. The time spent in prison gives criminals a chance to change their minds, to rethink life’s possibilities, and to expand their horizons – a rare opportunity that should be seized.

Books to Prisoners programs are in dire need of financial support so that the thousands of prisoners can obtain books with which to fill their minds with the words of erudite authors who led peaceful, successful lives.  In the wise words of Henry David Thoreau, “How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.”

It is possible that a good book may have a great enough effect on a man to change his mind. Please increase funding for Books to Prisoners programs, and offer this possibility to those who most need it.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: NinoAndonis via morgueFile.

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  1. We must encourage and give a new chance to those who wish to be productive and change their lives. The prison business serves no purpose but to perpetuate the situation in most cases.

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