APBP grew out of an American prison literature course taught by English professor Katy Ryan in 2004 at West Virginia University. Since then, APBP has mailed over 30,000 free books to people in prison, led book clubs in men’s and women’s prisons, and is currently working to bring for-credit college classes into a regional prison.


2004: Founded
2006: Moved into the Aull Center
2012: Became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
2014: Hosted a national symposium on Educational Justice and Appalachian Prisons
2014: Started first book club at the women’s prison at Hazelton Correctional Center
2016: Started a second book club at the men’s medium-security prison at Hazelton
2019: Sent out 30,000th book