Prison Book Ministry


"When was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?" was a question posed to Jesus in Matthew's Gospel, and it is one all of us can ponder. Our country's incarceration rate is the highest in the world with over 0.7% of the population behind bars. Even though many are justly imprisoned, we can follow Jesus' mandate to care for them and their families.

Members and friends of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church responded in Spring 2014 by supporting the LSSI Story Book Project and by donating, sorting, and shipping 18 boxes (approximately 800 books) to Stateville Correctional Center for men in Joliet and Fox Valley Adult Transition Center for women in Aurora. In May 2015 Holy Trinity collected and distributed 29 boxes of used books to Stateville and Fox Valley, and added the Hospice program at Dixon Correctional. In 2016, 30 boxes (over 1000 books weighing 900 pounds) went to these three institutions.

In order to increase awareness of criminal justices issues and of our Prison Book Ministry, Holy Trinity sponsored an informational booth at the Printers' Row Lit Fest in June 2014, 2015, and 2016.

Explore this page for ways to help in the future.

How Can I Help?

Participate in Holy Trinity's Prison Book Ministry in these ways:

  1. Begin setting aside used books suitable for the Spring 2017 book drive, according to the Guidelines below and saving boxes appropriate for shipping books, no more than 18" on longest side.
  2. Donate to the fund to supply notebooks for reflective journaling and art supplies for Fox Valley Adult Transition Center for Women in Aurora.
  3. Donate good condition women's clothing, shoes, purses, coats, etc., for use by Fox Valley women entering the labor market. Please deposit in the basket marked "Fox Valley" in the HT Lakeview narthex or give to Pr. Ben Adams at HTLoop.
  4. Learn about the LSSI Storybook Project and click the link for the video.
    Make monetary donations NOTE: Click the donor designations box and choose Prisoner and Family Ministry. At the very bottom of the form, click in the Special Instructions box and state that the donation is for Storybook Project.


Guidelines for the Prison Book Project

Help improve the lives of men and women in prison and empty your over-crowded bookcases. Do two good things at once by taking part in our annual Prison Book Ministry drive!
During three years of operation, Holy Trinity’s prison book ministry has enriched the lives of inmates at three Illinois prisons by distributing over 3000 books, weighing at least 2000 pounds!

How To Help Out

Begin setting aside your used books in preparation for the Spring 2017 book collection—and invite your friends and family to do the same.

If you have questions, please email Ryan and Carol LaHurd.

Types of books most needed

Reference: legal/job/vocational
novels (crime fiction OK)
world religions


Both paperback and hardbacks acceptable
Good condition
No personal information (or black out)
No heavy highlighting or marginal notes
Nothing defamatory of any group/belief
No explicit sex or heavy profanity

Boxes - medium (no more than 18" on longest side) with labels and delivery bar codes removed