The Smartest Yard
The Justice Bureau reports that there are now more than two million people in U.S. prisons. And while the numbers keep growing, educational funding and resources for prisoners keep going down. This is where Books Through Bars comes into play.
The organization is part of ABC No Rio, a collective for art and activism founded in 1980 by artists committed to political and social engagement. Run out of Bluestockings Bookstore in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, BTB-NYC "is an informal collective of volunteers,â€ says Melissa Morrone, who oversees the nonprofit. "We send approximately 250 packages to prisoners each month. A package generally contains one to three books, so we send an average of 500 books a month to state and federal prisons.â€