The Carbondale 3R's program is an outstanding example of advocacy for incarcerated youth and adults through volunteerism, book recycling efforts, and community networking and collaboration.
This spring and summer (2014) the Three R's program has had just such collaboration between the Peace Coalition of Southern Illinois, the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship's Social Action Committee, First Christian Church, Southern Illinois Quaker Meeting, and the Friends of the Carbondale Public Library. Volunteers from these groups helped to choose, pack, and load books to be donated to five local prison libraries.
On April 10th, Vienna Correctional Center received 14 boxes of books, and on April 24th, Big Muddy Correctional Center received 17 boxes of books. On July 1, a representative from the Illinois Youth Center-Harrisburg came to visit the library's storage facility and the 3R's book room at First Christian Church to choose books. On July 29th, Michael Batinski delivered 4 boxes of requested books to Vandalia Correctional Center, 75 miles away.
In the coming months, 3R's hopes to provide books to six more Illinois Department of Corrections facilities. Right now, the primary need is for more shelves for the books and for more volunteers. Contact Marilyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.