Book collection to support prison library
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Feb 14, 2013 | 2358 views | 4 4 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A book drive to benefit the Deuel Vocational Institution prison library in rural Tracy kicks off Friday, Feb. 15.

Rhodesia Ransom is spearheading the collection with a group of residents to collect new and used paperback books to replenish the prison’s library.

Prisoners use the books for educational and entertainment purposes.

Books at the prison have short shelf lives because they are checked out and used often by countless prisoners, according to Ransom, who also serves on the DVI Citizens Advisory Committee.

Ransom said she approached prison officials about the drive after hearing a presentation during a committee meeting that the library was in need.

“Our goal is to increase literacy or availability to books that would increase literacy, self empowerment and education,” she said.

Books can be placed in drop-off bins at Barnes & Noble at the West Valley Mall, 3200 Naglee Road; Baristas coffee shop, 112 W. 10th Street; and Tracy Travel at 902 Central Ave.

Among the books being sought are westerns, fantasy, science fiction, mysteries, history books, dictionaries, inspirational, motivational, and addiction recovery.

Hardcover books and publications with themes of erotica and violence are not being accepted.

All of the books will be reviewed by the prison librarian before going on the library shelves.

“It’s an opportunity for the local community to be able to provide a positive service to the inmates,” she said. “We want to have a connection (with the prison and the community).”

Anyone looking to make a donation can do so at a drop-off site or by contacting Ransom at 645-2012.

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or
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February 17, 2013
I, for one will donate books. I volunteer, through my church, at Folsom prison, where one of my church members son is an inmate. I have learned that you cannot stereotype prisoners, just as you cannot stereotype any other group. I have also learned that it is a very hard life, even for a short stay. People hear the word prisoner and immediately think of the the most hardened criminals. But some prisoners are in for much smaller crimes with sentences under a year. A society which pretends that it's issues are irrelevant or unworthy to be addressed is a society is in denial and fear, and these two attitudes just cause more of the same. Our unresolved issues as a society, find their way to the prisons. I'm glad to see some attempt, however small, to begin to face these problems.
February 14, 2013
Really??? Sorry but I cannot believe where people's priorities are!!! What happened to donating to schools?!?!? I'm saddened that this is even an article in our paper....
February 14, 2013
darn, not gonna be able to help with this one. not sure I want to help prisoners be 'entertained' and just don't believe prisons are rehab or educational institutions. The sooner we figure that out, the sooner we can get back to making prisons a place prisoners don't want to go back to. Let's hurry up and start educating them on that single lesson.

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