Books Beyond Bars is a local initiative that goes into the women’s section of the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Burnside twice monthly to improve access to books, writing, and literature for incarcerated women.
Since 2005 Books Beyond Bars has and continues to:
- Distribute books and writing journals in a book exchange program,
- Collect writing, artwork and poetry for a zine, and now a book, called Words Without Walls,
- Offer a “Read Aloud” program in which we tape record women inside reading children’s books and then send the book and tape to their children outside,
- Organize writing and poetry workshops, both at Burnside and the Nova Institute for Women in Truro.
Books Beyond Bars operates with the belief that the prison system is fundamentally flawed. Sending women to prison does not support people in dealing with the issues that led to their incarceration: poverty, abuse, racism, addiction, etc. We visit the women’s prisons in Nova Scotia to break down barriers between women who are caught in an unjust system and those of us on the outside involved with prison justice issues.