Photo of adult man reading a book in a prison cell.

The Reading Agency works with prisons across the UK to help encourage and establish reading and literacy skills among adults in the criminal justice system.  

Our Reading Ahead programme takes an individualised approach and encourages readers in prison to access a diverse selection of high-quality reads, ranging from genres like crime, fantasy, thrillers, and contemporary fiction. They can work through a customised reading challenge with the help and support of a library service coordinator and peer mentors.  

Over the course of the programme, participants read a total of 6 books of varying lengths and genres. As they complete each book, prisoners engage in conversations with mentors and volunteers to explore themes, plot, characters and gain fresh perspectives. Participants reflect on each book through creatively written reviews and are motivated by incentives provided to those successfully completing the challenge. 

Our Quick Reads programme also offers prison libraries shorter accessible texts to those who find reading challenging or aren’t currently in the habit of regular reading.  


Contact info@readingagency or find out how you can get involved in our programmes below.  

Reading Ahead

Supporting less confident readers to increase life chances and choices through reading

Quick Reads

Accessible reads written by brilliant authors

Reading Well

helping people to understand and manage their health and wellbeing using recommended reading

The Reading Agency

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