Freedom Press

Haven Distribution Books to Prisoners Shirt


Haven Distribution, who counted the late Benjamin Zephaniah as a patron, is an awesome organisation that sends much needed books to prisoners — and have been doing so for many years. Buy one of Haven Distribution’s fund-raising t-shirts to help support and spread the word about the work it does.

The white design on a black cotton t-shirt reads Haven Distribution Books to Prisoners … supplying books to prisoners since 1996. Artwork by Clifford Harper. Also available on a red tote bag.

About the organisation

Haven Distribution purchases educational books for those who wish to use their time in custody effectively, through the pursuit of lifelong learning. It seeks to encourage self-worth and raise self-esteem in inmates in the UK prison population, providing a structured service, which will assist in the resettlement of the offender back into their communities.

Benjamin Zephaniah on Haven Distribution:

I will never forget my time in prison, no one took courses, there were no classrooms, and no library. I remember being desperate for some intellectual stimulation and after a thorough search of the limited spaces that I had access to I realised that the only printed material that was available to me was the Bible and pornography. I must confess, I read both, but I was desperate.

When I visit prisons now and talk about those times I get two types of responses. Some say it must have been tough, and that things are much better now, whilst others say its worse or nothing has changed. Its impossible for me to say which is closer to the truth, I would have to be an inmate to qualify as an expert, and even then I still wouldn’t get an overall view of all the country’s prisons. From my limited experience as a visiting poet I know that reading opportunities differ from prison to prison.

The statistics don’t really matter, if you need a book, you need a book. And it doesn’t matter what you need it for; to pass an exam, to learn to read, or to keep your mind exercised, they are all important to you, at that time, when you need a book.

Photography by Ellie Ramsden for Freedom Press

Haven Distribution books to prisoners shirt |Photography by Ellie Ramsden for Freedom Press