Project: Development of a Books to Prisoners National Alliance
Retainer Fee: $7,000-$12,000 DOE (flat fee)
Project Period: January 2022 - March 2022
Proposal Submission Process: Submit cover letter and resume at bit.ly/btpa-application by November 7, 2021
More info: https://bit.ly/bookstoprisoners or firstname.lastname@example.org
The ideal candidate would have several of the following:
- Familiarity with prison movements, issues and advocacy programs. Previously incarcerated persons encouraged to apply.
- Movement building experience
- Curiosity and ability to immerse themself in the issues and programs
- Commitment to diversity and equity, experience working with diverse populations
- Experience working with small, grassroots, volunteer-run organizations.
- Technical skills - data analysis, data science, ability to use technology to solve problems
- Willing to work with volunteer-led leadership team
- Potentially work with an associate or organizer from within the books to prisoners movement
An Exploratory Committee has formed organically to determine the feasibility of creating a national Books to Prisons Alliance comprised of the many, primarily local and regional, volunteer-run books to prisons programs that currently exist and mostly work autonomously. The Exploratory Committee seeks to address the following needs in the movement:
- There is a need for a collective, consistent, practice-based voice representing program leaders, educators, students, volunteers, and other stakeholders experienced in the Books to Prisons work.
- There is a lack of data, research, and a common evaluation framework for assessing the value of Books to Prisons programs.
- Program leaders need support and connection to sustain existing programs and to start new programs.
- There is an opportunity to establish and share best practices and approaches to increase the distribution of books to prisoners.
- There is a disconnect between (and no formal feedback loop for) programs to inform policy and advocacy at state and national levels.
- There is a need for a unified voice to counter predatory market forces seeking to benefit from state and federal funding for tablets in prisons.
- There is a need for a platform to inspire the public and shape public discussion on criminal justice and literacy programs.
- There is a need for a unified voice when addressing prison restrictions and rules.
- There is a need for and an opportunity to influence broader issues of mass incarceration, racial and economic injustice, and prison abolition.
Working Purpose Statement
The purpose of the Alliance is to provide tangible benefits to all of the groups in the Alliance by:
- Creating and maintaining a centralized data and information system;
- Identifying and supporting responses to policy trends;
- Raising awareness about the Books to Prisons programs with the general public; and
- Developing tools and resources that maximize the groups’ ability to focus on their central missions and fundraising.
The Exploratory Committee is seeking to hire an experienced consultant to lead and facilitate the development of the Alliance. Primary Responsibilities include:
Coordinate and facilitate meetings and work with the Exploratory Committee to address the critical first issues that need to be examined, including:
- Determining the composition of the Exploratory Committee
- Identifying the problem, vision, and shared values
- Refine the Purpose Statement (if necessary)
- Outlining organizational structure and governance
- Developing internal communications mechanisms
- Developing the procedure for creating a work/action plan
- Determining resource needs (financial, staffing, informational, technology, etc.)
Lead the development of an 18-24 month work/action plan and budget, including:
- Conduct a landscape analysis to identify existing local and regional books to prisons programs and the core elements of their programs and constituencies; identify exemplar programs and programs that could use more support to thrive.
- Prepare a report on the findings of interviews (possibly in focus group formats) with a cohort of stakeholders that is substantive enough to draw key conclusions about collaborative opportunities, needs, and interests that can drive the formation, structure, and programming of the Alliance.
- Develop a list of books to prisons groups that should be recruited into the Alliance, centering diversity and inclusion in all recruiting efforts.
- Identify additional strategic partners, such as book publishers, distributors, prisoner allies, media, current and formerly incarcerated individuals, etc., who could partner in this work.
- Assess potential future growth opportunities, such as legislative advocacy, lobbying, voter re-enfranchisement, tablet watch, Mail Guard, book publishing, fiscal sponsorship of smaller groups, joint fundraising, etc.