In furtherance of CAL’s mission to extend our advocacy beyond the courtroom, in November 2016, CAL initiated its Books Beyond Bars project to provide reading materials to clients in prisons across the state. 

History, Sports, Religion, Poetry, Classic Literature: wherever our clients’ interests lie, we work to provide reading materials that we hope will help mitigate, at least in some small measure, the isolation and dehumanization of the prison system, and encourage self-empowerment and personal growth—or at least a brief escape from the trying realities of incarceration.  Although it is well-established that prison-based education is the single most effective tool in reducing recidivism, prison libraries are universally understocked with outdated material that our clients do not want to read.  To that end, we hope that clients not only enjoy the books we send, but also share them with other incarcerated individuals.

The Books Beyond Bars project is funded entirely by donations from staff and friends of CAL.  We welcome your support.  Please visit our wishlist to help us fulfill specific client requests.  We also welcome direct monetary donations payable to the Center for Appellate Litigation.  Finally, if you would like to donate reading materials, please email us at and let us know what you can contribute.  CAL is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, so donations to Books Beyond Bars are tax deductible. 

Brittany Francis, Eunis Ramos, Molly Schindler, and Ben A. Schatz coordinate this project for CAL.

Click here to donate to Books Beyond Bars.