Criminal Justice Reform

2018 Juvenile Detention Center Book Drive / Women’s Prison Self-Help Book Drive

This summer WISE and MAJR (see descriptions below) joined forces to hold a book drive to collect self-help books for Maryland incarcerated women and to collect books approved by the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services for the libraries of Juvenile Detention Centers.

Collection points were set up at several bookstores and coffee shops and over 40 boxes of books were collected and sorted for their appropriateness for the various libraries.

Many thanks to Vanessa Bright and Lori Stokes who led the book drive – contacting the librarians and setting up collection sites; to the collection site sponsors: Janice Holmes and Jinny Amundson at Old Fox Books, Deb Hoffman at the Big Bean, Sarah Cahalan at 49 West, and Julie Shay of Good Neighbors; to Bill Carlson for spreadsheet management, to Chelsea Harris who created our Amazon Wish List for the Detention Centers; and to all the members of MAJR and of WISE who donated books and who helped us sort and box books.

We are still accepting donations of books through our Amazon Wish List for Juvenile Detention Centers through the end of October.  If you would like to donate a book you can view the Wish List and order books at

Interest was shown at the MAJR general meeting in September and from some churches for extending the book drive work and we are happy to provide guidelines/suggestions on materials prison librarians will want/accept and a list of books which have been pre-approved for use in Juvenile Detention Centers.  If you know of others are interested in having a book drive for a prison or detention center and they would like to have a copy of our spreadsheet and a list of our tips page please invite them to contact us:


Jenny Zito,

Facilitator for WISE Huddle on Justice Reform and Huddle on Poverty


Bill Carlson,

Coordinator for MAJR Front Door Work Group




WISE, a women’s group formed after the 2017 Women’s March and consisting of over 600 members mainly from Anne Arundel County and has a dozen issue focused groups.


MAJR, Maryland Alliance for Justice Reform, is a bipartisan state-wide alliance of people and organizations interested in evidence based, humane, and effective corrections policies.