Prison Chapters

Noname Book Club is for the liberation of all oppressed people. We understand the Prison Industrial Complex is a system working tirelessly to disappear members of our community. It is very important for us to counteract the violence of the carceral state by staying in contact with folks on the inside. Each month we send 2 books to members of our prison chapters. Typically our book club picks are radical with themes around liberation, decolonization, and revolution. Books of this nature are seen as a threat to prison safety and are unfortunately banned from most facilities. Because of this censorship we’ve come up with a curated book list that we know should have no issues getting into most prisons. It allows us to still materially support comrades on the inside but it doesn’t fully allow them to be a part of the larger conversations our outside members are having about the booklist we’re reading. If you are interested in building connections with some of our incarcerated book club members about the books they are specifically reading, email to be set up with a pen pal. None of us are free until we’re all free.

Prison Book Ban
The largest book ban in the United States isn’t found in our schools or our local libraries. It’s found in our prisons.

Over 2.2 million Americans are incarcerated, meaning that the arcane and arbitrary systems of book restrictions for incarcerated people represent the largest book ban in America. And yet these restrictions get little public attention.

Access to literature in American prisons is getting worse and worse. In the past few years, with the stated aim of blocking ‘contraband’ from entering prisons, various states as well as the federal prison system have attempted to dramatically restrict book deliveries to incarcerated people, or shut down such deliveries entirely.

The federal prison system alone encompasses over 177,000 incarcerated people, and it has made its own attempt to restrict book access. Last year, the Bureau of Prisons rolled out a pilot program where incarcerated people would have to pay an unexplained 30% markup to buy books. Thankfully, the program was rescinded after public outcry.

Sign Petition

Letter from Stevie

Stevie is a member of our SCI Smithfield prison chapter in Huntington, PA.

More info on communication with this prison here.