Since 1809, the pattern of the Massachusetts Bible Society’s faithful mission has been set for future generations. MBS has been faithfully granting free Bibles to churches, hospitals, prisons, homeless shelters, and others who share God's Word with those in need. Times have changed, but the need of hurting and searching people remains.
In reviewing our Bible Grant Program in the recent years, we have noticed a decrease in requests for Scripture coming from prison chaplains and people who are incarcerated. We believe this decrease has to do with organizational staffing and policy changes, and that the need for hope and reform remains in all prisons and correctional facilities. We were searching for ways to help more people behind bars. People who are incarcerated are all too often out of sight and out of mind—but they do not have to be forgotten. They need hope.
This winter, we reached out to Prison Book Program (PBP) out of Quincy, MA. The founding members understood that reading was crucial for prisoners who often had substandard educations and scant access to books through prison libraries. These members also realized the importance of the connection forged between people living on both sides of prison walls, and they pursued that connection with vigor. Books are crucial to the political, spiritual, and educational development of all people.
In collaborations, we quickly found a shared mission… to send free books to prisoners to provide hope. But getting books into prisons is not easy. Most prisons do not allow family and friends to send books into prisons; books must be new and come from an approved retailer or program. While PBP is an approved program, most of their inventory is donated, showing signs of use, so we have partnered with them to get more Holy Scripture into prisons in Massachusetts.
Our first books are on their way to those in need, including Bibles and Study Bibles in English and Spanish, as well as Jewish and Muslim holy texts. We look forward to sharing more details as the partnership grows, and hope you will continue to support our mission in helping incarcerated people break free from their spiritual prisons and embrace a life of renewal and restoration. We need your help in continuing the pattern of faithful mission for future generations.
Please give today, so that we can continue collaborations that honor our mission of promoting biblical literacy, understanding, and dialogue.