Update from Prisoners in SCR Jail Denied Books

Monday, September 9th, 2013
posted by fern

UPDATE 9/19: David was released from jail today!  After one month in jail, David was released on “personal recognizance” (without bail) and came home to celebrate with a big meal and a lot of snacks. While we’ve missed David during this REALLY long jail stint, one really important thing came out of David’s time there: inmates in South Central Regional Jail are now being allowed to receive books once again! After we had contacted the press, advocacy groups, and finally the Regional Jail Authority, inmates in South Central were notified on 9/17 that the no-book policy would soon be reversed.



David has been in South Central Regional Jail Since August 21st, when he locked down to a barrel containing slurry on the steps of the Governor’s Mansion on the WV Capitol complex.

Nearly three weeks later, David is still waiting in jail to make a plea deal.  He was told that he will not be able to make a plea for 3-7 weeks from now. While he was scheduled two hearings for bail reduction, he was not informed of these or allowed to attend them. His request to be released on his own recognizance was denied. but his bail was reduced yesterday to $1,500.

As usual, at David’s request, we sent books in for him and his podmates to read. One day, however, David got a notice that no one in the jail would be able to receive any books sent to them after today, September 9th. The previous policy was that inmates could receive books ordered for them as long as they were shipped from the publisher, not from an individual.

We believe that this policy is disturbing and unjustified. There are few productive or edifying things to do when you’re locked in jail, but reading good books is one of the best things that inmates can do to redeem that time. Inmates use them to educate themselves and build skills they’ll use when they get out. While there is a jail library, it’s unfortunately comprised of poorly written romance and fantasy novels. The collection is sparse, and it’s hard for inmates to get their hands on something that they actually want to read.

We’re looking into the details of the jail system’s book policy right now and trying to see if there is anything we can do. If you think that access to good reading material should be a right for inmates, email [email protected] to help out.

In the mean time, David is going to wait in jail until he can settle his case.  Barrel-Guy7174





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