The Cleveland Books to Prisoners program was originally started as part of a community center project in 2005, and then taken over by the Cleveland Catholic Worker community upon the closing of this community center space. Guide to Kulchur inherited the program in 2013, and it has been an integral part of our identity and mission since. Taking over the administration of Books to Prisoners was a natural fit, as Guide to Kulchur intends specifically to facilitate access to literary arts for underserved communities, including the incarcerated.
We are compounding the good work of Books to Prisoners by adding the Prison Media Literacy Project and the RE:Turn Project to continue serving incarcerated members of our community. We will increase diversity of offerings, decrease response time, and ensure continuous pathways to information as we expand Books to Prisoners. The Prison Media Literacy Project will build and provide programming for currently incarcerated persons, building upon the print resources of Books to Prisoners, to forward educational and artistic opportunities. The RE:Turn Project will follow up with the community of incarcerated persons we have served to use literature, models of mentorship and responsibility, and access to resources to combat recidivism for recently incarcerated persons.