Pamunkey Regional Jail/Extension Services
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One of the long-range goals of the Pamunkey Regional Library is to "provide patrons with access to facilities, materials and assistance to obtain the information they need." One of the ways that we do this is by providing reading material for the library at the Pamunkey Regional Jail. The Pamunkey Regional Library, though not affiliated with the Jail, provides books and popular-interest magazine subscriptions that they make part of their library, including
People (in English and Spanish),
and Car and Driver, to name a few.
The jail library is a
fascinating place and both the program
officer/jail librarian and the inmate clerk work
hard to provide materials to all
400+ residents of the jail.
The jail library has about 3,000
books in their collection. They have
created a catalog in MS Word and have
assigned and shelved the books into very broad
categories, like Romance, Mystery, and Nonfiction.
This works very well for
such a small collection.
Because hardbacks could be
used as weapons, we
were not allowed to give the jail library
hardbacks for a long time. However, the program
officer has devised a way to
take off the binding and rebind this
type of book so that folks can get
Several times a week the inmate clerk fills a cart with a variety of books at visits each section of the jail. Those men and women who have signed up to "visit" the library are allowed to borrow one book for the week. If they return that book the next week, they are allowed another book. Even though the inmates spend 24 hours in the jail, they may lose the book they borrowed. In most cases, this ends their library privileges.
Neither the library nor the jail has a big budget for books and other materials. The program officer is always on the lookout for more materials. If you would like to help the jail library, high-interest materials include the following:
magazines about cars and car repair
National Geographic magazines
good condition paperbacks in all areas (especially mysteries, westerns and science fiction)
anything by African-American authors
materials in Spanish, Chinese, Japanese and Korean.
If you are interested in donating materials to the jail, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 804-365-6211.