Books in prisons: a vital lifeline

The confines of a cell without books – therein madness lies. News from the UK.

The Reader Online

New rules by the justice secretary ban anyone sending books to prisoners. The Reader Organisation does not support this measure and urges you to sign this petition opposing restrictions on reading.

The stats about reading speak for themselves:

  • 70% of pupils permanently excluded from school lack basic literacy skills (National Literacy Trust)
  • 60% of the prison population lack basic literacy skills (National Literacy Trust)
  • 20% cannot fill in a job application form (Prison Reform Trust)
  • 75% of adult prisoners have a dual diagnosis of mental health problems combined with alcohol or drug misuse (Prison Reform Trust)

Writer, TRO patron and former prisoner Erwin James wrote about our work in prisons for the Guardian recently, and is interviewed in the brand new issue of The Reader magazine about his own prison reading experiences. For him, it is clear that reading offered the possibility of change:

I did not thinkā€¦

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