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Involved Citizen Helps Gather Books for Inmates at County Jail

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ALAMANCE COUNTY, NC— Inmates at the Alamance County Jail will soon have an escape that even the sheriff can get behind. A man and his church are leading the charge to stock a jail library.

  • Michael Graves makes helping inmates at the Alamance County Jail his top priority. He is the founder of ACT, which stands for Actively Changing Together, a program to help offenders get out of jail
  • Graves noticed a lack of books at the county jail and is eager to establish a library full of them to give inmates the chance to read
  • You can help donate books at the Ebenezer United Church of Christ at 704 Apple St., in Burlington. The jail cannot take hardcover books or material containing graphic sexual content

Michael Graves makes helping inmates at the Alamance County Jail his top priority. He is the founder of ACT, which stands for Actively Changing Together, a program to help offenders get out of jail. 

“I had been talking with some of the inmates and working with them and trying to see what they wanted to do once they get out of jail and trying to point them and motivate them, and they wanted reading materials,” Graves said.

Graves noticed a lack of books at the county jail and is eager to establish a library full of them to give inmates the chance to read. 

“If you have got guys that do not have anything to do, they are going to find something to do. So, you know, you put a book in their hand and that may take a couple of hours out of the day,” Graves explained.

The recent loss of his father further motivated Graves to make this book drive a reality, pushing ahead in his dad’s memory. So Graves and his church, Ebenezer Union Church of Christ, are partnering with the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office with a goal of collecting a thousand books in 30 days. Byron Tucker with the sheriff’s office said this is going to beneficial for the inmates. 

“With what we are expecting to receive from Michael and the community, this is just going to be tremendous for folks in the detention center,” Tucker said.

The sheriff’s office will inspect all the books before offering them to the inmates to ensure they conform to jail guidelines. It hopes this is just the beginning of a diverse reading collection.

“Maybe later on, if we have space available, the books continue to grow, which we hope they do. Then we will put something in place within our facility so that we will run it as a library. They will be able to check books out and come browse and see what they want,” Tucker said.

You can help donate books at the Ebenezer United Church of Christ at 704 Apple St., in Burlington. The jail cannot take hardcover books or material containing graphic sexual content.

 

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