The Free Library’s Prison Services offers services and programs to incarcerated Philadelphians in the Philadelphia Prison System. Each month more than 500 inmates at Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility, Riverside Correctional Facility, and Alternative and Special Detention take advantage of the book-lending program.

Programs at Philadelphia Prison System

Starting in February 2016, the Free Library—in partnership with the Philadelphia Prison System—introduced two new services for incarcerated parents, returning citizens, their children, and their families. This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Stories Alive

Stories Alive sessions will offer the incarcerated parent an opportunity to read a book to his or her child through live video conferencing stations set up both in the prison and in neighborhood libraries. This video visit will be on a computer screen, similar to Skype or FaceTime. Free books will be given to families who participate! Learn more.

Temporary Library Card

Upon their release, Curran-Fromhold and Riverside returning citizens who have used the prison libraries or participated in Stories Alive will immediately receive a temporary library card and a re-entry resource packet.

Stories Alive

Read a book to your child through live video conferencing stations set up both in the prison and in neighborhood libraries.

Sign Up


How the Free Library is helping incarcerated parents spend quality time with their kids
For the past six months, the library's "Stories Alive" program has helped nearly 40 incarcerated parents spend an hour reading with their kids via video conference.

New Program Aims to Bring Together Families Separated by Incarceration
Can reading help mend families separated by incarceration? That’s the idea behind a new Free Library of Philadelphia program at the city’s largest prison.


For more information, please contact:

Prison Services
Widener Neighborhood Library
2808 W. Lehigh Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19132
267- 257-3015


Learn more about volunteer opportunities.

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The Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation is pleased to recognize, with grateful appreciation, the following individuals and organizations whose generosity provided for the expansion of the Prison Services Program.