The Challenging the Consequences of Mass Incarceration Clinic (CCMIC) is organizing a book drive this holiday season to help stock libraries in New York State prisons and jails. We are reaching out to the Columbia community for donations of any and all books.
Books provide a critical source of legal assistance, education, and enjoyment to people who are incarcerated for both long and short periods of time. Unfortunately, many prison and jail libraries are understocked, and the books that they do have are often out of date. Education and reading, however, remain an important tool to both lower recidivism rates and provide a means of diversion from the harsh conditions of confinement. As such, we hope the Columbia community can make an impact in improving the resources available in prisons and jails in New York and Connecticut—facilities where CCMIC students visit and have clients.
We will accept donations between November 27th and December 15th. Books can be dropped off in the designated box outside the clinic space on the 8th floor of Jerome Greene. Below is more detailed information on the type of books we are looking for, logistics for donating the books, and the institutions to which we plan to donate the books. If you have any questions, please reach out to Nika Cohen at [email protected].
Please consider donating—every single book will be appreciated!
- What type of books can I donate?
We will take all books-from legal treatises to works of non-fiction and young adult novels. While it is important that we provide legal books to assist those in prison or jail, it is also important that the prison and jail libraries are stocked with books for enjoyment or general educational purposes.
In regards to legal books, we will welcome all types of books from treatises to handbooks. We are especially looking for donations relevant to criminal procedure, criminal law, and habeas.
- How do I donate the books?
We will collect books from Monday, November 27th, to Friday, December 15th. There will be a box outside the clinic space (Room 831) on the 8th floor of Jerome Greene. However, if you need assistance carrying the books or it would be easier for someone to come by and pick them up, please reach out to Nika Cohen at [email protected].
- Where will the books be donated?
Where we donate the books will in part depend on the volume of books that we receive. We currently plan to send at least some books to Northern Correctional Institution, which houses Connecticut’s death row. The prison recently reopened the library there for those on death row, and they are in need of donations immediately.
We also hope to donate books to a New York State prison and are considering sending some legal books to Rikers—New York City’s largest jail.