Sarah M. Pritchett
Concord University
Office of Advancement
PO Box 1000, Athens, WV 24712
(304) 384-6312,

After 4 p.m.
Office: 304-384-5211
Cell: 304-320-6405

March 29, 2022


ATHENS, W.Va. – Concord University Criminology Instructor Lori Pace and her students are joining WV Reentry Councils for a backpack collection drive. They are working to fill 21 waterproof duffel bags made and provided by WV Prison Industries with toiletries and other items including notebooks, pens, blankets, towels and wash cloths.

The drive began on March 14 and will continue until April 29. “Then they will be donated to Mercer County Probation and Parole WVDOCR Office and Southern Regional Jail for those who have been released from jail or prison and are at risk of homelessness,” Ms. Pace said.

“We did a similar campaign spring 2019 and had 36 well filled bags to donate,” she said. “Not only does this service benefit the agencies and individuals receiving the filled bags, but it increases the students’ awareness of challenges to reentry post felony and allows them to cultivate empathy for others.”

To kickoff this year’s collection, Jill Bryant, Director of Probation and Parole with the WVDOCR Region 4, and Officer Erica Martin visited Ms. Pace’s Reentry and Criminology classes on March 1.

It is estimated that 95 percent exit prison/jail and return home, often without adequate support and resources to help them experience successful transition to society, according to the WV Center on Budget & Policy (WVCBP State of Reentry and Barriers 2021.) The National Inventor of Collateral Consequences of Conviction reports that in the state of West Virginia, there are 851 collateral consequences (barriers) to criminal conviction and 1900 at the federal level.

A reentry simulation event will be held at Concord University on Tuesday, April 12. Entitled “Overcoming Barriers to Reentry & Reintegration Post Incarceration,” the event is being sponsored by the Concord University Sociology Department and the WV Reentry Councils. Beverly Sharp, Director of the WV Reentry Councils, along with Ashley Lough from the United States Attorneys’ Offices will facilitate the simulations.

This simulation is a glimpse into what it is like to be released from the correctional system and the barriers formerly incarcerated people face with jobs, family, housing and supervision restrictions. Participants will be given bios and tasks to complete in this interactive experience intended to increase awareness.

For additional information about the collection and/or the reentry simulation event contact

Please note that the state of the COVID-19 pandemic and Concord’s adherence to CDC guidelines
 could impact how and if events are held. For the most up-to-date information, always check

Masking will be optional in all Concord University facilities as long as Mercer County remains in the Green or Yellow on the CDC’s COVID-19 community level map, and the on-campus cases remain low in number.
This reflects the latest guidance by the CDC.

We appreciate your compliance as we do our best to keep students, employees and visitors to campus safe.

Persons with disabilities should contact Nancy Ellison, 1-304-384-6086 or 1-800-344-6679 extension 6086, if special assistance is required for access to an event scheduled by the University on campus.

Students holding backpacks