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This Appalachian Nonprofit Puts Books In The Hands Of Inmates Who Need Them

Buzzfeed News – Since 2004, the Appalachian Prison Book Project has distributed approximately 25,000 books to inmates in the region.

“Today, prison libraries are hit-or-miss, more often falling on the “miss” side: frequently barebones, stacked with outdated textbooks, or littered with battered romance novels. Some prisons are even attempting to do away with libraries entirely, instead placing the burden on inmates to pay for e-books. In Pennsylvania, inmates have to pay for a $147 tablet in order to read books. “The quality of the libraries is very uneven. People don’t have access to the books they really want to read, particularly if they’re on a specific subject. Some prisons try to do interlibrary loan, but it’s a very delayed service and, again, limited,” explains Katy Ryan, a professor at West Virginia University and cofounder of the Appalachian Prison Book Project…

The Appalachian Prison Book Project (APBP) is a nonprofit organization based in Morgantown, West Virginia, that sends free books to incarcerated people across six states in Appalachia: Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. Founded in 2004 by Ryan and fellow professor (and recently elected Morgantown deputy mayor) Mark Brazaitis, APBP was born out of a class Ryan taught on the literature of incarceration…”

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