Norfolk, Va. – The Norfolk City Jail’s library needs at least 1,000 books to help inmates behind bars find inspiration and educate themselves.
The goal is to allow each inmate to check out two books, but right now there aren’t enough books to go around.
Sheriff Bob McCabe is asking the public to donate only paperback books to help close the gap.
Jail Library Director Dan Provance explained they need more donations to help replace old or damaged material. Just like any library, inmates are fined for not returning or damaging books.
“Certain books that they have are old and outdated. It gives us something to occupy our time inside the jail; it keeps guys out of trouble by reading books,” inmate Brian Gatling said.
Employees screen all donated paperback books to make sure they are in good condition and do not contain any sexually explicit or violent material.
In particular, Provance hopes people will donate educational books or nonfiction biographies of people who have risen above struggles.
“It helps the inmates be in a positive, instead of negative situation while they’re here in the jail. We would appreciate inspirational books that would help them out,” Library director Dan Provance said.
If you would like to donate paperback books to the Norfolk City Jail, you can drop them off at the Public Safety building’s visitation room (old General District Court) at 811 E. City Hall Avenue.