Founded in 2017,  A Voice 4 the Unheard began as a book drive aimed at refurbishing the libraries at Rikers Island and providing under-resourced communities with educational literature. We believe books have an unparalleled ability to elevate the mind and bring us to new spaces. Reading is a beautiful human experience and creative outlet that can be used in our prisons as a tool for rehabilitation, education, and growth in order to make individuals and society better as a whole.

 

Our Mission

To not let any of America's 2,200,000 prisoners to feel neglected or underrepresented. We are fighting to raise awareness about the real issues that have been present within the American prison system for decades. Incarcerating more prisoners does not necessarily reduce crime rates, but we have been continuously sending people to jail. More people than ever are in jail for non-violent offenses. Countless innocent voices are silenced by the inequality that stems from our institutions, and we need to educate populations of every creed and color on this issue. We all need to look at certain laws, institutional structures, and policing practices that may be contributing to minority and lower-income populations feeling the heaviest burdens of prison.


I know there are a lot of individuals that might not be fortunate enough to have anyone that’s on the outside to send them any literature to read. It might keep them going. It freed my mind and opened my thoughts.
— John Bunn, Wrongfully Convicted Man

What We Plan On Achieving

  • Give prisoners easy access to a variety of book genres and reading levels.
  • Get information and literature to at-risk youth so they can empower themselves and avoid getting caught-up in a toxic criminal justice system. 
  • Refurbish prison libraries with new equipment, organization systems and of course, literature.
  • Continue the dialogue on prison reformation that supports rehabilitation as opposed to punishment and condemnation.
  • Provide literature that will interest and inspire prisoners and educate our under-resourced communities.
  • Re-define prison culture and create safe areas where prisoners can be vulnerable, honest and all together more focused on positivity.
  • Connect prisoners to aspects of themselves and society that have been neglected or completely undiscovered.
  • Continue to recognize and elevate groups or individuals who feel unheard and underrepresented by society.