Our work emanates from two interconnected premises: education is a basic human right, and engaging the community in educational justice efforts is a requisite component to building sustainable restorative justice models.
Since our founding in 2004, APBP has evolved into a dynamic community that is responsive to the social crisis and economic costs of mass incarceration.
Mass incarceration divides our society into two worlds: inside and outside. APBP works against this division by providing books and educational opportunities to incarcerated people while also generating ways for volunteers and community groups to learn more about the legal and prison systems. We are convinced that education is essential to creating a culture that neither criminalizes people nor looks to a cage as a solution to social problems.
By mailing books, facilitating prison book clubs, and offering college courses in prison, APBP celebrates creative expression and defends the liberties that make it possible; champions the freedom to read and write, recognizes the power of literature to transform individuals and societies; and supports educational, vocational, and personal development for people who are locked up. For our volunteers, the work of responding to letters and facilitating prison education programs grounds national debate on mass incarceration in the lived experiences of those who know prison best.
Our organization envisions a future society in which we understand our interconnectedness and better perceive our mutual stakes in creating fair and just systems, and each facet of our work moves us towards this future by encouraging collaboration and dialogue across barriers and through walls.