Posted on 12/03/2019 at 12:00 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

We have two stories about books in incarceration facilities to share: one uplifting, one less so.

The Texas Observer checked back in with Amalia Beckner, the public defender who was raising money to buy books for her clients in jail.

Beckner, as it turns out, has gone a step further and now runs a book club in the Harris County Jail.

She describes what persuaded her to take on that task and the benefits that inmates — and she herself — have seen from it over the past year-plus in an essay for the Observer.

On a less-cheerful note, though, West Virginia prisoners have discovered that the much-touted tablets they have access to come with a catch.

Reason reports that reading public-domain books from Project Gutenberg on the tablets will cost inmates at least three cents a minute, though these books are free to access.

(The contract between the tablet provider and the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation says the cost will eventually rise to five cents per minute.)

Read more about the West Virginia tablet contract and how it compares with national prison book trends on Reason.

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Categories: Today in Books

Tagged As: Book club, Politics, Reading

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