For Rock County Jail inmates, reading helps them ‘escape’
Rock County Jail collects books for inmates
JANESVILLE, Wis. — The Rock County Sheriff’s Office is asking the community to donate books so the inmates can have a wider selection to choose from.
Zachary Tucker is part of the Rock County Education and Criminal Addictions Program at the Rock County Jail. He said he reads about two books a week.
“We get free time. We’ve got class during the day, so at night time, we be reading and just to pass the night by and fall asleep until the next day,” Tucker said.
He said he likes both nonfiction and fiction, and especially books about the military.
“It’s got, like, a certain pattern that’s really set up for people who are trying to go out to the community and do well,” Tucker said.
Rock County Cmdr. Troy Knudson said the jail has a budget for books, but it only goes so far. He wants to see a more diverse selection come into the jail.
“Many of them are here for a long period of time. It’s a stressful time in their lives,” Knudson said of the inmates. “There’s a lot of boredom waiting for their cases to come around, so just basic pleasure-reading books are very valuable to help pass the time.”
Knudson also said motivational, inspirational and self-help books would be good for the inmates to read.
“Sometimes being in jail is kind of a low spot in people’s lives, and when you get in a spot like that, sometimes that’s a decision-making point. Maybe they don’t know where they want to go with their lives, but they know it probably isn’t here,” he said. “If they’re making that decision to climb out of a bad spot, it’s good to have resources for them out there.”
Tucker said there are quite a few inmates who enjoy reading. He said they are all very thankful for the community bringing in new books.
“It means a lot to us because our spare time, we really need something to do, and it gets our minds out of jail, so we can actually get out, escape a little bit,” Tucker said.
The book drive runs until Feb. 2, but Knudson said the sheriff’s office would still accept books after that. Any donated books need to be softcover and can be dropped off at the front lobby of the sheriff’s office.
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