JANESVILLE

The Rock County Sheriff’s Office received more than 1,700 books after it put out an appeal to replenish the jail’s supply.

More than 50 people donated soft-cover books after an appeal issued in January, according to a news release thanking the donors.

“In addition to helping to manage the jail environment, many of these books will potentially support the correctional goal of rehabilitation. We received books on parenting, self-help, anger management and spiritual guidance among other very positive subjects,” the release states.

After filling all the jail book carts, a reserve supply of books remains, which should meet jail needs for the near future, the release states.

People are still dropping off books, which the jail is taking to add to the reserves, according to the release.

Beneficiaries of the book drive include the inmates and the sheriff’s office budget, which has been tapped to buy books in the past.

Nearly all the books donated have been accepted for inmate reading, said Cmdr. Troy Knudson.

Hardcover books go to second-hand stores because searching them for contraband can damage them. Magazines with staples are not allowed because they can be used to make tattoos and pose a risk of infection to jail officers during searches, Knudson said.

None of the donated books were rejected because of content. Knudson said books that pose security threats, such as books on picking locks or making weapons, would be rejected, but if the inmates can see the same material on TV, they are allowed to read it in books.

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