Whether you know it or not, many prison inmates love reading books. Some books are approved for reading by prison authorities, and others are not allowed into the facilities because of their content.


#BooksForPrisoners Image Source: English Pen

The most common books allowed help inmates cope with prison life or empower them for release back into the society.

Some prisons even maintain libraries for the use by inmates. And, in general, those who don’t have access to prison libraries are still allowed to purchase books from the outside, from approved vendors and major bookstores.

Books make great gifts for prisoners for Christmas, birthdays, other holidays and special occasions, or simply just because you love them.

5 Books Read the Most by Prison Inmates in the US

Prisoners tend to fall in love with some books more than others. So, here is a list of five books that US prisoners tend to read the most, according to the stats:

1. A Life Inside: A Prisoner’s Notebook

[amazon_link asins=’1903809983′ template=’ProductAd’ store=’prisonrideshare.org-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’fa3a0ce3-c66e-11e7-b871-45e5a0185d2c’] A Life Inside: A Prisoner’s Notebook is written by Erwin James. The author lived most of his life behind bars. He was sentenced to life imprisonment as a youth and grew into adulthood while still incarcerated.

The book is a memoir of prison life and all the author has learned within the American prison system. It also seeks to provide a voice for inmates to be heard in the outside world. A Life Inside: A Prisoner’s Notebook compares with Porridge and Passion by Jonathan Aitken and The Pain of Confinement by Jimmy Boyle.

2. Barron’s Dictionary of Legal Terms

[amazon_link asins=’B004JZD7K2′ template=’ProductAd’ store=’prisonrideshare.org-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ccc93fad-c66f-11e7-aa63-91ef578d2322′] This book is written by Steven H. Gills for all non-lawyers looking for valuable, reliable legal information.

It defines and explains all legal terminologies lawyers use in their defense of offenders in The Courts. Barron’s Dictionary of Legal Terms helps prisoners to understand all that transpires within The Courts while their cases are being argued, or while they fight for their freedoms.

It is useful for everyone who seeks to know more about legal terms. This makes a great Christmas gift, or gift of any kind, for inmates still in the midst of court battles.

3. The 48 Laws of Power

[amazon_link asins=’0140280197′ template=’ProductAd’ store=’prisonrideshare.org-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’188a40d5-c670-11e7-bee9-899707ede398′] The 48 Laws of Power is written by Robert Greene.

This book outlines the philosophies and influences of historical figures such as Machiavelli, Sun Tzu and Carl von Clausewitz among others. This book explores the power of seduction and deceit, and using ambition and empowerment to achieve life goals in business and private life.

It is a book inmates would find useful for reentry into society. These types of books are excellent gifts for inmates about to be paroled or will be released from prison soon.

4. The Diary of a Young Girl

[amazon_link asins=’B0092G7DHQ’ template=’ProductAd’ store=’prisonrideshare.org-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’767debc4-c670-11e7-8cce-d986ee7626d4′] Written by Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl details the experiences of the author during World War II.

It explains how young Anne Frank hid from the Nazis during the war. This world-famous book talks about her life in Nazi concentration camps. It also explores how young Anne drew on inner courage, resilience and hope in the face of grave dangers to overcome terrible adversities.

Inmates love it to draw on inner strength while incarcerated. Some believe this is the reason the book is such a big winner with the prison population.

5. Yoga for Beginners

[amazon_link asins=’B000H8RVSO’ template=’ProductAd’ store=’prisonrideshare.org-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’129ac1f0-c673-11e7-ac41-43f1de6e4050′] Yoga for Beginners was written by Mark Ansari and Liz Lark.

It is a step-by-step exercise guide for lovers of physical fitness, specifically, yoga. The yoga fitness guide details all an individual needs to know to keep in shape even inside tiny prison cells and other restrictive spaces.

Many prison inmates love to exercise and would find this book very helpful. Yoga has a way of helping people find peace from within, while staying focused and physically fit at the same time.

Know of any other bestselling books that prison inmates love to read?

Share them with us in the comments below.

Charles Omedo

Charles Omedo has a degree in Mass Communication and a PGD in Digital Communication. He worked as a newspaper/magazine reporter and editor for many years. Now, he writes daily news articles for private clients. Charles has written for US/UK/Canadian/Indian clients on various niches. He currently writes for prison loved ones on the Prison Rideshare Network nonprofit blog.