How Can I Help?

Read Between the Bars is completely volunteer-run and comprised of core members and volunteers from the Tucson area. RBtB core members meet as needed to plan and coordinate fundraising and outreach opportunities, as well as discuss regular business such as RBtB’s Book-Packing Parties.

At RBtB’s Book-Packing Parties, RBtB volunteers match books to new requests from people in prison. For reach request, a volunteer reads the person’s letter, searches our library of books, and selects the books that best match what the person has requested. Selected books are then wrapped and addressed to prepare them for the next mailing.

Book-Packing Parties are scheduled the second Wednesday and last Sunday of every month.

Interested in joining us as a RBtB core member or volunteer?
Please e-mail us at readbetweenthebars@gmail.com with any inquiries or questions, or to be added to our email list.

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10 thoughts on “Get Involved

  1. I assume your books are free? There is no mention about paying for the books. You mentioned that the inmate must send a request to you? Not all inmates are that privelaged to contact the outside world. You make it sound so easy. We are told by the Lower Buckeye Jail in Phoenix that the family needs to make the request on behalf of the inmate. This is confusing because you are saying just the oposite. Can you clear this up please. Thank you in advance.
    Judie

    1. Hi, Judie. As our home page clearly states, we provide books free of charge. Unfortunately many jail and prison personnel might be unfamiliar with our policies and procedures, so they might provide incorrect information. That is something we have no control over.

      We cannot accept requests from family, partners, or friends on the outside in large part because many correctional facilities enforce personal item limits. We do not have unlimited funds to pay postage on packages that a person in prison can’t even accept, so it makes sense for us to get requests directly from the incarcerated individuals themselves. This also helps eliminate duplicated requests and other problems. It’s a very standard practice among organizations that provide services like ours. People who cannot afford postage have been able to contact us using the waived postage fees that indigent individuals are eligible for.

  2. Hi, Eileen. Sorry for the late response to your question. We must have missed the WordPress notification of your comment. Generally our Book-Packing Parties are on the second Wednesday of the month from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. and the last Sunday of the month from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. Our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ReadBetweentheBars) will give you the most up-to-date information, though, including any of them that are canceled due to holidays and any additional ones that are taking place to accommodate service opportunity groups.

    1. Hi my name is janet my son is serving 30 years he is wanting some books self help insperational. Writers handbook. And legal news thank you here is his address jason neal #294148. Aspc tuscon santa rita. Po box 24406. Tucson az. 85734. Thank you very much

      1. Hi, Janet. We’d love to send him some books, but to do so we’ll need him to send his request to us at our address (located on the right-hand column of our main page). He can request up to three books every six months. We rely on book donations, so we always recommend requesting by subject or genre in case we can’t match specific titles or authors. Thank you!

  3. Hi, Pam. We don’t know of any similar organizations in Phoenix that deal specifically with sending books to people in Arizona’s prisons. However, there are certainly other groups that work on prison issues in other ways, such as divestment campaigns. As for sending books to prisoners, publishers and retailers are the safest bet for senders who will get their mailings to the people inside, which is why Read Between the Bars is in care of Daily Planet Publishing. Recognized organizations that send books to people in prison are generally given the green light as well.

    Thanks for your interest!

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