The Appalachian Prison Book Project (APBP) is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that sends free books to women and men who are imprisoned in the Appalachian region. The Project sends books to West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Many prisons lack adequate libraries, and books can be a real life line to people doing time. Studies have repeatedly shown that recidivism rates go down when people in prison have access to educational programs. APBP considers its work part of this larger social goal.
Founded by Katy Ryan and members of her graduate prison literature course in the fall of 2004, APBP is a labor-intensive effort that requires books, volunteers, money for postage and supplies, and lots of organizing. Volunteers respond to individual letters from imprisoned people requesting reading materials. The Project receives approximately 80 letters every week.
For more information about APBP and its mission, as well as volunteer and donation opportunities, please visit its WordPress site at aprisonbookproject.wordpress.com.