Man looks to help educate Alamance County inmates one book at a time

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GRAHAM, N.C. — While volunteering with Alamance county inmates, Michael Graves became aware of a problem.

“I am my brother’s keeper whether they’re in the jail or they’re in the White House,” Graves said. “Everybody in there is not guilty and even the ones that are in there guilty are human beings and needed to be treated as such.”

The Alamance County Jail lacks books. Graves believes a place void of reading materials is void of hope.

“I do believe that it’s possible for them to read something that could change them. A poem can change them, a story can change them,” Graves said.

His goal is to collect 1,000 books in 30 days.

“We need as many as we can get,” Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnso sad.

Graves’ church family at Ebenezer Union Church of Christ is helping to make it happen.

“No matter what age or whatever you have done, the book itself can open up and broaden your mind,” church receptionist Siti Foushe said.

Bins are empty as of Wednesday and ready for donations.

All the books dropped off will be inspected and then made available for inmates.

“Could it be a little bit more work on our detention staff? Absolutely. But guess what, if one of them doesn’t end back up in the system it’s worth every effort we’ve put forward,” Johnson said.

He believes Graves’ idea can create a safer jail and a better society.

“If I was locked up or think about it if you were locked up, and you just sat there and had nothing to do, an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. But if you’ve got something to read, you’re going to read and you’re going to comprehend and you’re going to learn some things,” Johnson said.

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