"More than machinery, we need humanity."

Woodford County Jail has a problem with books —

— which means we have a problem with them.

So, there’s a couple animal rights fellas, Tyler Lang & Kevin Olliff, sitting in Woodford County Jail in Eureka, Illinois, charged with “possession of burglary tools,” which is a felony, and the whole thing sounds kinda bullshitty.  (This is my surprise face.)

I know that most of the folks who run prisons are totally reasonable and never act in unjust or punitive ways towards the inmates they oversee (this is my trying not to laugh face), but some weeks ago, Michael Waterworth of Woodford County Jail banned incoming books (and possibly also is limiting Tyler & Kevin’s access to books already inside the jail? anyone? it sounds like they have nothing to read at all?[but it’s a small jail, maybe there aren’t that many books already there?]).  This is an obvious overreach of his authority, and butts heads with the first amendment.  Waterworth seems to be reacting to the pair’s supporters outside posting a book wish list on the internet and the support that the two had thus-far received.  Waterworth also has been lying about it (again my surprise face): “Please note Michael Waterworth is telling the media and others that the prisoners have access to a library of books. This is 100% false and has been confirmed repeatedly by Tyler & Kevin over the past 6 weeks.”  The two have also been held apart from each other.  Kevin is hungerstriking against the book ban.

Seriously, y’all, WTF?

Anyway, shit is fucked up and bullshit, but let’s put a little pressure on those fuckers, yeah?  Call-in campaign time (again; sorry, I hate it too, the phone is the worst, but it sometimes work, so):

Michael “Mike” Waterworth, [is] the person responsible for the book ban, so we are asking everyone let him know the spotlight is on him. Call now to let him know the world is still watching as he continues to let prisoners waste away without books, lie about their access to them, and inflict this cruel and unprovoked punitive measure on prisoners who have broken no rules.

  • Jail: 309-467-2116
  • Sheriff Pierceall: 309-467-2375
Four ways to make your calls effective:
  • Call multiple times. If you call once, please call back two or three more times.
  • Call both numbers.
  • Remind them denying prisoners books is illegal.
  • Remind them Kevin and Tyler’s supporters are not going away until the book ban is lifted.

Call volume has a big impact: 100 of their supporters calling 3 times a day for the next 3 days is nearly 1,000 calls. It only takes a minute.

You can also write to Tyler & Kevin (Kevin’s legal last name is Johnson):

Kevin Johnson #4565
Woodford County Jail
111 E Court St.
Eureka, IL 61530

Tyler Lang #4564
Woodford County Jail
111 E Court St.
Eureka, IL 61530




ETA 10/31/13: Good news, y’all. The book ban’s been lifted, according to Kevin & Tyler’s support page.

About oneofthelibrarians

Respectable mid-career librarian by day, dirty street librarian by night & other days.

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This entry was posted on October 28, 2013 by in Activism, Banned books, Books, Legal, Prison, WTF? and tagged , , .

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