The Appalachian Prison Book Project (APBP) challenges mass incarceration by providing books and education to incarcerated people and by creating opportunities for volunteers and community groups to learn more about the legal and prison systems.
APBP sends free books to people imprisoned in six Appalachian states (West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and Maryland), hosts book clubs inside a federal West Virginia prison, and is leading an effort to bring for-credit college courses into prison.
Our work emanates from two interconnected premises: education is a basic human right, and engaging the community in educational justice efforts is a requisite component to building sustainable restorative justice models.
Since 2005, we have mailed over 30,000 books.
100 imprisoned people (75 women, 25 men) and 27 volunteers have participated in our book clubs.
Over 300 people have volunteered.
We’ve hosted 16+ wrapping parties for community volunteer groups.
But don’t just take it from us. Hear what our friends on the inside have to say about our work.
APBP is taking on our next big challenge: creating and supporting credit-bearing college courses for incarcerated students. And we need your help.
Prison reform has a long and complicated history. Reform is often defined as how people come out of prison “changed” and with a sense of autonomy (or even freedom), while others remain the same as before they went in.
APBP has been awarded the 2019 Amplifier Award from Barrelhouse Magazine. We are so excited about this partnership that will help us promote writing and artwork by incarcerated people in West Virginia.
In many ways this [book club] and your time/effort have been an emotional and intellectual lifeline for me.
I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your generosity. You have indeed put some sunshine in my rather drab life imprisoned as I am here on Death Row.
I have passed the first book I received on to two others so far, and plan to do so until the cover falls off! (The library here can fix it up when I donate it.)