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Cheers to an Amazing Year!
Here's a snapshot of all we've accomplished in 2022 with your support.
Wrapping up 2022, we wanted to say thanks to everyone who believes in our vital mission to bring books to incarcerated New Yorkers. Your generous help has proven invaluable, and we’re counting on you to continue spreading the word and getting more books into prisons in 2023 and beyond. Here’s a recap of all the great additions we’ve developed this year, with your support.
BBB is the one of the only programs of its kind to offer post-release support.
We’ve begun making Literacy Kits to help formerly incarcerated individuals continue to expand their knowledge on the outside. Each kit includes academic enrichment titles at the appropriate reading level, writing materials, and an “affirmation journal,” and is aimed at helping recipients navigate the myriad challenges of life in the wider world. Legal and self-help titles are regular inclusions, but each kit is assembled according to individual need. BBB is the one of the only programs of its kind that offers this post-release support.
We established and continue to maintain Amazon Wish Lists for academic texts and out-of-price-range titles. These easy-to-use virtual shopping lists provide continuously updated information on in-demand titles that may be purchased on behalf of incarcerated individuals. We’ve expanded our Wish Lists to include more life skills guidance and industry-specific training books to fit a wide variety of interests.
On the Books
BBB processed more than 3,000 book orders in 2022, and we anticipate this number rising in the upcoming year as the program continues to expand. Many of our requests come from those who appreciate our program, as well as new participants in need.
This year, BBB pushed back effectively against recent statewide package bans and restrictions by producing and using compliance stickers on all our packages. These clear, simple declarations have already helped ensure that books can make their way through a labyrinthine system to their intended recipients.
Our New Office Library
Building an office library has greatly streamlined our operations. Stocked with books donated by the public and by independent bookstores, it is organized by genre to help circulate popular titles, keep track of inventory, and store donations.
Creating Our Newsletter
The August launch of the monthly BBB Newsletter saw a new platform through which readers can follow goings-on at BBB, discuss issues around prison literacy. We hope it will also expand our reach. Why not subscribe?
The Newsletter allows readers to follow goings-on at BBB.
A Letter to the Times
In August, a letter from our founder, Ben A. Schatz, was published in the New York Times as part of a discussion about access to social justice literature in prison. This drove a larger community of readers and supporters to our program.
Engaging with Our Network
BBB networked with and was added the national books-to-prisoners listserv, making it more convenient for others to reach us statewide. Feel free to check out other BTP programs in your area!
A very special thank-you is due to all to all our community partners, local and independent authors who have donated, neighboring law firms who support our mission at CAL, and our volunteer and intern teams. We hope to gain more connections, share more stories, and reach more incarcerated individuals in the new year. More exciting updates to come! Have a happy New Year!