CPMC is committed to collecting and sharing the best resources available that can assist those involved in the various ministries serving people affected by incarceration. On this page, you will find relevant books. 

We also encourage you to submit a resource that you find helpful and would like to share. Through the collaborative effort of sharing resources, we support and empower each other as well as those discerning a call to minister to persons affected by incarceration.

Books Catholic Prison Ministry Coalition

Recommended Books

Colorizing Restorative Justice
Voicing Our Realities

Edited by Edward C. Valandra, Waŋbli Wapȟáha Hokšíla

Foreword by Justice Robert G. Yazzie

Becoming Ms. Burton From Prison to Recovery to Leading the Fight for Incarcerated Women

Finding Grace Within

Written by Shannon O’Donnell

Halfway Home: Race, Punishment, and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration

The Little Book of Racial Healing
Coming to the Table for Truth-Telling, Liberation, and Transformation

Written by Thomas Norman DeWolf, Jodie Gedde

The Way of the Cross for Those in Recovery

Written by Fr. Robert Kraig

When We Visit Jesus in Prison: A Guide for Catholic Ministry

Chaplain Dale Recinella

Punishment Without Crime: How our massive misdemeanor system traps the innocent and makes America unequal

Alexandra Natapoff

The Politics of Mercy: Catholic Life in an Era of Inequality, Racism and Violence

Mattew T. Eggemeier and Peter Joseph Fritz

Ministry to the Incarcerated

Dr. Henry G. Covert

Not a Crime to Be Poor: The Criminalization of Poverty in America

Peter Edelman

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

Michelle Alexander

Prisoners of Politics: Breaking the Cycle of Mass Incarceration

Rachel Elise Barkow

Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion

Fr. Gregory Boyle

Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship

Fr. Gregory Boyle 

Prison Nation: The Warehousing of America's Poor

Edited by Tara Herivel and Paul Wright

Redeeming a Prison Society: A Liturgical and Sacramental Response to Mass Incarceration

Amy Levad 

Going Inside: Learning to Teach Centering Prayer to the Imprisoned

Ray Leonardini

Finding God Within: Contemplative Prayer for Prisoners

Ray Leonardini

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

Bryan Stevenson

Dead Man Walking: The Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty that Sparked a National Debate

Sister Helen Prejean 

The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions

Sister Helen Prejean 

River of Fire: My Spiritual Journey

Sister Helen Prejean 

40 Weeks: Letters from Prison

William M. Watson, S.J. 

Keeping Hope: A Resource for Families and Friends of the Incarcerated

Karen Heuberger and Ron Zeilinger 

A Lesson Before Dying

Ernest J. Gaines

Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration and How to Achieve Real Reform

John Pfaff 

Houses of Healing: A Prisoners Guide to Inner Power and Freedom

Robin Casarjian

Urban Trauma: A Legacy of Racism

Maysa Akbar, PhD, ABPP

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City

Matthew Desmond

The Ex-Offenders New Job-Finding and Survival Guide: 10 Steps for Successfully Re-Entering the Work World

Ronald L. Krannich

My Life Had Stood a Loaded Gun: Adolescents at the Apocalypse: A Teacher's Notes

Theo Padnos