In her new book, Burning Down the House: The End of Juvenile Prison, award-winning journalist and advocate Nell Bernstein presents a critical look at the juvenile justice system.
Plan now to attend this free book talk and discussion
Saturday, September 13
Unitarian Church of Evanston
1330 Ridge Avenue (map)
RSVP by August 27 to reserve a book ($20 discount price)
RSVP by September 6 without book
uuchicagoarea.org or Gail Smith at 773.728.4456
The Annie E. Casey Foundation
Unitarian Church of Evanston, Peace & Justice Committee
Second Unitarian Church, Prison & Restorative Justice Committee
Juvenile Justice Initiative
Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice
Download event flyer
Published August 22, 2014
Tags: letter, poem
Forgotten and Alone in Prison
Here I am locked up again,
with no family or loved ones near.
All that’s left inside of me
is the sadness and fear.
I pray to God for salvation and
to lead me in his precious grace.
As I beg him to show me mercy
as tears roll down my face.
As I lay here in my cell sitting on my bed,
I shed another tear, because I feel
I’ve been forgotten
by those I love so dear to me.
As I sit, think of Carol, Zack,
my chest fills up with pain, regret, that I am not there.
I try to call to say I love them, miss them,
but no one answers the phone
cause it said “Restricted”,
so they couldn’t answer
so I started to fall apart as my heart kept breaking.
My eyes filled up with tears ~
As I hung up the telephone ~
so this is what it feels like to be truly
Forgotten and truly alone in life.
Even though I have been forgotten
I know God has put me here for a reason,
it was to discover myself, to grow closer to God.
Now I can overcome every obstacle in my life,
because through God all things are possible
as long as you believe, have faith in him.
Published August 18, 2014
To the Book Angels —
Thank you, thank you, thank you! I recently received a package of books and they were wonderful. I live in an open quad with 70 other women and 10 Greyhounds (we do rehab training for retired racing Greyhounds to help with their adoptions) and everyone gets excited when we receive books. Everyone is usually good about sharing, as it is hard for some to get to the compound library. The latest editions were all from popular authors so they are making the rounds.
Once again I’m gong to request any of the latest bestsellers. Other popular titles have been requested too. Please send authors like Nora Roberts, Fern Michaels, Danielle Steele, Susan Monk, Meg Cabot, Southern authors, Patterson and Grisham, any vampire books and cookbooks. Believe me, any sent will be shared and enjoyed.
See our Amazon Wish List for hard-to-find books that are often requested
The next time you place an order, why not select one (or more!) of the books on the list for us? This will help you meet the $35 minimum for free shipping and it’s easy to have the books for prisoners sent directly to us.
Check out our most recent special requests
Here are just a few of the hard-to-find books we could use right now. (Some are also on the wish list. Some may be on your shelves or in that box in the corner of your basement.) We’ll be updating this list as needed, but for starters:
- How to draw clothing patterns
- Large print dictionaries
- New dictionaries
- Bible study crossword puzzles
- A Woman Doing Life, Notes from a Prison, Erin George
- Everything Guide to Getting Published, Randy Ladenheim
- Paralegal Practice and Procedure, Deborah Larbalestrier
See the entire list and learn more about how you can help.
Published August 4, 2014
Tags: donations, supplies
Every week we pack and ship more than 60 packages of books. To keep our costs down, we recycle brown paper bags—and now we’ve run out of bags.
So we’ll be happy to take that pile of bags off your hands. Just drop them off any Sunday afternoon, 2–5pm at 4511 N. Hermitage Ave. (Sunnyside and Hermitage). We’re only two blocks from the Montrose Brown Line stop and there is plenty of free street parking. Look for our doorbell at the top left of the church entrance.
While we’re at it, another big packing need is tape. We go through yards and yards of it every week, so we’d also appreciate donations of 2″ clear packing tape.
And of course our biggest need is always postage. If you can, just click the Paypal button on the right. You’ll be helping us get more packages of books into the hands of the women we serve.
Published July 21, 2014
Concerned about prison issues and want to get involved? Intrigued by the chance to make a concrete, personal difference in the lives of prisoners? Interested in offering women behind bars the opportunity for self-empowerment, education and entertainment that reading provides?
Join us for our next orientation session, led by one of our experienced volunteers, this Sunday at 1 pm. (Our volunteer orientations take place the last Sunday of each month, 1–2pm, right before our regular 2–5pm work session.) Get the details here.
And of course, there are always other ways to get involved
and help get books in the hands of women in prison. See you soon!
Published May 22, 2014
Interested in getting more involved? Summer is almost here and is a great time to start something new.
Join us at our next orientation session, led by one of our experienced volunteers. It takes place the last Sunday of each month, 1–2pm—right before our regular work session, 2–5pm. Get the details here.
Of course, if Sundays are inconvenient for you and you’d still like to help us get books in the hands of women in prison, there are many ways to get involved
Published May 11, 2014
We are delighted to have been awarded an Innovations in Reading Prize by the National Book Foundation. Five organizations were recognized for “modeling creative approaches to sharing literature with diverse audiences.” The $2,500 prize will go a long way toward helping us continue to serve women prisoners in nine states.
Many thanks to our awesome volunteer Linnea who identified this opportunity and coordinated the initiative!
Read more about the award.