National Honor Society expands jail library

NHS students Elise Jantz, Jakob Graber haul books to the County Jail. The Newton National Honor Society donated 220 books to the jail library.

By Adam Strunk

The library of the Harvey County jail will be greatly expanded, thanks to the work of the Newton High School National Honor Society.

Newton NHS, as part of a service project, collected 220 books to be donated to the jail for inmates to read.

“The library is one of the big sources of entertainment for inmates,” Elise Jantz, secretary for Newton Honor Society, said. “Books go thorough wear and tear and needed to get replaced, and we wanted to help them out and get them to the jail.”

The NHS got the word out to students and teachers, local churches and posted fliers around town as part of the project.

Elise Jantz hands off a box of donated books at the Harvey County jail

Books were donated to the jail on Friday.

Jantz said she got the idea from her sister, who also donates books to her local jail, and added that the other officers of the group were on board.

“We thought if we could do something like that on a larger scale that could make a big difference at the jail,” she said.

She said, in some members’ opinion, including hers, the criminal justice system has flaws, and the effort helped at least make life a little better for some of those inside the jail.

“People in jail are often kind of forgotten by their communities,” she said. “People don’t think about them a lot.”

She said that while they didn’t get to speak to any of the inmates they helped, they did work with Sheriff Deputy Brian Huntley and get feedback from him.

“From what it sounded like, they seemed like they were happy with that,” she said.