Prison Book Program, along with the United First Parish Church Outreach Committee brings you the critically acclaimed film The House I Live In. Directed by Eugene Garecki and produced by Danny Glover, Brad Pitt, John Legend and Russell Simmons, the film explores the relationship between the war on drugs and America’s role as the largest jailer in the world.
The film recognizes drug abuse as a matter of public health, and investigates the tragic errors and shortcomings that have resulted from framing it as an issue for law enforcement. It also examines how political and financial corruption has fueled the war on drugs, despite persistent evidence of its moral, economic, and practical failures. The drug war in America has helped establish the largest prison-industrial system in the world, contributing to the incarceration of 2.3 million men and women and is responsible for untold collateral damage to the lives of countless individuals and families, with a particularly destructive impact on black America.
Join us at the United First Parish Church in Quincy (directions) at 7:30 on Friday, March 21. The film will be followed by a guest speaker who will share his personal experience with the system and a public discussion.
Each year on April 23, tens of thousands of people go out into their communities and give half a million free World Book Night paperbacks to light and non-readers. And PBP is going to be a part of that. On April 23rd we will distribute hundreds of books provided by the World Book Night folks to prisoners.
World Book Night is dedicated to spreading the love of reading, person to person. Each year, 30- 35 books are chosen by an independent panel of librarians and booksellers. The authors of the books waive their royalties and the publishers agree to pay the costs of producing the specially-printed World Book Night U.S. editions. Bookstores and libraries sign up to be community host locations for the volunteer book givers.
April 23 is the UNESCO International Day of the Book, as well as Shakespeare’s birthday. It was also chosen in honor of Miguel de Cervantes, who died on April 23, 1616 (the same day as Shakespeare). In the Catalan region of Spain, the day is celebrated by giving a book and a flower to a loved one.
Dog Eared Freedom
by Don Brown
I gave away my freedom
When I chose to do my crime.
I will not commit another
By locking up my mind.
I can choose to grow in here,
Like a mushroom in the dark.
I can turn my tiny cell
Into Shakespeare in the Park.
When I start feeling angry
And frustrated with myself,
I know help is never further
Than the books living on my shelf.
There is no dust up on these tomes
And their number is always changing;
From Langston Hughes to Stephen King,
Their topics are wide ranging.
I do not “escape” inside those words;
Escapees must forever run away.
Instead I visit them in their homes
And listen to all they say.
I am very fond of most of them;
A few tell me naught but lies,
But even the most dishonest ones
Often open up my eyes.
I cry for those who cannot read
And the prison sure won’t teach them.
I wish I knew the perfect way
To see hungry minds and reach them.
Stories hold so many treasures
And a poem can heal your heart.
Words take us down so many paths
And books are where they start.
A prisoner recently sent us this drawing along with this nice note. “I want to thank you and your crew for the books because without you guys l lot of us in here would be lost or dead by now! Because of the books that you send us give us hope and a new view on life and love. So thanks and may God bless you always, amen!”