Free Voices Speak Out for Prisoners
NEW YORK, NY – February 21, 2005 – NYC-based Voices of the Free (VOTF) has joined the cause to bring a literature library to inmates at the largest penial colony in the world.

Under the direction of Executive Director Jenn Onofrio, VOTF has made a dedication to collecting donations for a new library at the Eric M. Taylor Center of Rikers Island in New York. The library, which serves men in the reform programs run by the Osborne Association of New York, is an initiative Onofrio started after she began teaching on the island last fall. The project is on-going and welcomes donations that are of particular interest to the imprisoned population, including self-help titles, mass market fiction, and African American history.

VOTF is joined by Alpha Books (Penguin Putnam), Bleak House Books, Cellar Door Publishing, Harper Collins, Inner Ocean Publishing, and various private donors in this project. Onofrio has hopes that the library will one day expand to be available to a larger portion of the imprisoned community.

For information on how to donate to the Rikers Island Library Project, contact Jenn Onofrio or visit VOTF at

Voices of the Free aims to help people to identify their free voices in the democratic arena, and then utilize their voices through the use of creative and persuasive writing, theatre, visual art, dance, and other mixed media expression. The focus is on reactionary works -- politically proactive art -- and the relationship between the artist and the political spectrum. "The currency is art; the artist is everyone; the profit is equality, freedom, and change."