At Chicago Books to Women in Prison, literacy is the core of what we do. For starters, only about 40% of people in prison have a high school diploma, so the books we send are critical in improving this vital skill. In addition, many women tell us that they hadn’t cared much about reading before prison, but now love it. Many mothers tell us that now they encourage their children to read.
The women we serve also tell us that the books we send enable them to earn a GED or reach another educational goal, improve parenting skills, enhance self-esteem, learn new skills, discover new talents and more—including simply to escape for a while from their oppressive environment. Through books we help incarcerated women improve the quality of their lives, understand their rights and enhance the everyday culture of their institutions. Importantly, it also helps them improve their chances for a successful life after leaving prison.
- Educate other member organizations—including but not limited to those that work with incarcerated people—about the need for our work and the difference we make
- Network with members to share ideas about outreach, capacity-building, fundraising and other common concerns
- Collaborate on public activities with member organizations on issues and themes that connect us
We’re delighted to be a member! Learn more about the Chicago Literacy Alliance.