Porter County Sheriff's Department

What's Happening at The Porter County Sheriff's Department


Jail Library Grant

Pictured from left to right, are: Jail Officer Sharon Kish,

Sue Montania, Barbara Aungst, Chief Deputy Dave Lain,

and Warden John J. Widup.


The Sheriff’s Dept. has been chosen to receive a donation of $5,000 for establishing a library for inmates in the Porter County Jail.  The award is from the Porter County chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, an international honor society of women educators.  The group received a grant from the Educational Foundation, a branch of the society. 

    Several Delta Kappa Gamma members have been instrumental in attempting to establish the jail library and writing the grant.  Barbara Aungst, a Valparaiso resident who is a teacher with Portage Adult Education, works with inmates in the G.E.D. program at the jail.  Sue Montania, another Valparaiso resident, is a retired media specialist from the Duneland Schools. Both women recognized the need for the establishment of a library to provide inmates with books for recreational reading, self help, learning the English language, and other areas.  In the past the few reading materials available were circulated from a small reading cart containing several dozen books with limited access by the inmates.  Inmates had to purchase religious materials or newspapers themselves.  These women, assisted by Jail Officer Sharon Kish, are purchasing books and materials to build the library to make literature available to all inmates.  Materials in Spanish will also be added due to the number of Spanish-speaking inmates at the jail.  There will also be titles to accommodate other ethnicities.  A portion of a room has been set aside for bookshelves and a donated card catalog.  Part of the grant monies will be used for a software cataloging system to facilitate circulation and for other materials to maintain the library. Members of the local Delta Kappa Gamma chapter will collect donated paperbacks and provide volunteer services.

The goals of the project are to improve the reading opportunities for inmates in order to provide them with an increased sense of purpose to avoid recidivism, to advance reading levels of inmates, and to encourage small group discussions of various books.

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