In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Appalachian Prison Book Project is temporarily closing its doors.
Closed Until Further Notice
APBP’s office is located in the Aull Center, which is owned and managed by the Morgantown Public Library. When they close, we close.
At this time, the Aull Center will be closed to visitors and volunteers alike from Tuesday, March 17 until Sunday, April 5. If all goes well, normal operations may be able to resume on Monday, April 6. We will update this blog post when we are open again.
What This Closure Means for APBP
Now more than ever, incarcerated people need access to books, education, and the outside world.
The board members, committee leaders, coordinators, and work study students who manage APBP operations behind the scenes are preparing a contingency plan so we can continue to receive donations, respond to letters, and send books when possible. Stay tuned for more information.
How the Coronavirus Affects People in Prison
In the meantime, remember that incarcerated people are particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus:
- Amanda Klonsky, The New York Times, An Epicenter of the Pandemic Will Be Jails and Prisons, if Inaction Continues
- Martin Kaste, NPR, Prisons and Jails Worry About Becoming Coronavirus ‘Incubators’
- Keri Blakinger and Beth Schwartzapfel, The Marshall Project, When Purell is Contraband, How Do You Contain Coronavirus?
Additionally, alongside the ACLU of West Virginia, the American Friends Service Committee, Mountain State Justice, and WV Free, we are calling on our state government to release people incarcerated in jails—who have not been convicted of a crime and who are presumed innocent—during this viral outbreak. Join us in advocating on behalf of jailed West Virginians.