What is Testament?

Testament is a web-based tool that can be used by prison book projects to more easily work with information related to the of sending free books to incarcerated people. Testament lets you:

  • Search and store records of
    • Prison/jail facility addresses and restrictions
    • Packages of books that have been sent
    • People who have received books
    • Outstanding requests for books
  • Track packages that have been returned or have special requirements
  • Generate reports about the number of packages sent

How can I access testament?

Testament is a web-based tool, currently accessible at http://www.btptestament.com.

How can I start using Testament?

People working with prison book projects who would like to start using the tool can e-mail andrewbadratgmaildotcom to request an account.

Why the name “Testament”?

From the Merriam-Webster Online dictionary:

2 a: a tangible proof or tribute b: an expression of conviction

Testament is a tool for storing information about books being sent to people in prison. However, prisons are already closely tied to record keeping. People are reduced to tracking numbers, the years they have left to serve, a thing that can be moved from place to place to optimize efficiency, a statistic that can be calculated into a budget. Most states and the federal government have public online databases where people can search for information about any incarcerated person, the search returning an intentionally sinister -looking mug shot, the person’s criminal record and nothing more.

Testament is a technology that can make the work of those sending free books to incarcerated people a little easier. However, we did not want it to only mirror the record keeping of the prison system or to otherwise reduce lives and experiences to data. Choosing the name “Testament” for the software tool helps us remember that every record in our software system is tied to a person in the prison system. Each record in the database is a testament to an incarcerated person’s struggle for knowledge or freedom, the hard work of a volunteer acting as an ally to that struggle, the generosity of a community member contributing resources, and an attempt by people to connect across some of the most substantial boundaries of our world.

How do I report a bug, request a feature, or ask a question?

You can e-mail the developers with your bug, feature request, or question at testament_supportatboxcarbooksdotorg.  However, a better way is to use the Testament Get Satisfaction Page.  If you click on the Help tab from within Testament, there is even a form that will help you communicate with us through the Get Satisfaction service.  Using this service is preferred to e-mail because it lets other users see your question and provide an answer faster than we can or lets others see our answer to you to help them with similar problems.  Also, it helps us see which feature requests are most popular so we can prioritize our updates.

1 Response to FAQ

  1. Pingback: Testament » Blog Archive » Announcing Testament: An Online Books to Prisoners Information Tool

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