Prison Book Project

Submitted by Deb Hirabai (USA)

The Prison Book Project (PBP) continues to serve incarcerated people around the country, reaching out to prison libraries, pastors, and organizations such as the Human Kindness Foundation to find inmates needing great reads! They can choose one of our three recommendations or pick any book by Hazrat Inayat Khan. As coordinator of the PBP, my small part is collecting the requests from the mail, forwarding them to Rabia, who then figures out which book to request from Suluk Press. Most facilities require offerings sent in the mail to be new and sent from a vendor. Currently, our limit is two books per year per inmate. Requests must be by mail and include the prisoner ID and facility address. The book most requested is overwhelmingly, The Art of Being and Becoming. It must be the catchy title!

The letters from imprisoned people are quite touching, and most requests are very humbly made.  Some of the phrases I’ve seen are: “To help me become a better person and spiritual warrior”, “I’m scratching at the truth to be set free and undo what has been done”, “Peace and blessings from Allah be upon you”, and “Hope to hear from your guys real soon, thanks for everything.”  In the heart of sorrow, there is a seed of joy.

This year, the Prison Book Project has provided 25 books to 22 imprisoned people. We welcome your support in sustaining this worthy project of spiritual outreach and assistance. Thanks to the dedication of Rabia Povich and Mikail Davenport and my small part, the Prison Book Project has survived and is thriving!

Below is a photo of an altar I set up during the Healing Retreat in October, to give those who wrote some benefit from our practices. May all beings be well and may those who need us find us through Kinship. Book requests for prisoners can be sent to me: Deb Hirabai, PO Box 1034, Woodburn, OR  97071. 

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