Libraries and Incarceration: Resources for Librarians
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2020, approximately 1.26 million persons were incarcerated in the United States. Research shows that increasing the literacy rates and strengthening the library and information access opportunities for det
This book provides librarians and those studying to enter the profession with tools to grapple with their own implication within systems of policing and incarceration, melding critical theory with real-world examples to demonstrate how to effectively serve people impacted by incarceration.
Corrections-related resources including training plans, research reports, program evaluations and more. Not all items are online. Access to the full collection and onsite Information Experts, through online Information Help Desk. Catalog searchable and browsable.
This series from the San Francisco Public Library features information from formerly incarcerated people alongside professionals providing library services for incarcerated people. It covers a range of topics relevant to the field.
The Expanding Information Access for Incarcerated People (EIAIP) Project offers an interactive map containing all the general data the team has collected on where library services for incarcerated people are located and where they are needed.
Library Literature on Adult and Youth Incarceration
Cauley, K. (2020). Banned Books behind Bars: Prototyping a Data Repository to Combat Arbitrary Censorship Practices in U.S. Prisons. Humanities, 9(4), 131. https://doi.org/10.3390/h9040131
Austin, J. & Villa-Nicholas, M. (2019) Information Provision and the Carceral State: Race and Reference beyond the Idea of the “Underserved”, The Reference Librarian, 60:4, 233-261. https://doi.org/10.1080/02763877.2019.1645077
Finlay, J., & Bates, J. (2018). What is the Role of the Prison Library? The Development of a Theoretical Foundation. Journal of Prison Education and Reentry, 5(2), 120-139. https://doi.org/10.25771/rkc8-8q64
Dunaway, S.E. (2017) ¿Dónde Está la Biblioteca? It's a Damn Shame: Outdated, Inadequate, and Nonexistent Law Libraries in Immigrant Detention Facilities, Legal Reference Services Quarterly, 36:1, 1-33. https://doi.org/10.1080/0270319X.2017.1312178
Wright, B.N. (2016), "The Prison Law Library: A Fourteenth Amendment Necessity", Perspectives on Libraries as Institutions of Human Rights and Social Justice (Advances in Librarianship, Vol. 41), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 209-228. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0065-283020160000041008
Kimberli, K. (2016) Inmate Legal Information Requests Analysis: Empirical Data to Inform Library Purchases in Correctional Institutions, Legal Reference Services Quarterly, 35:2, 135-146. https://doi.org/10.1080/0270319X.2016.1177431
Presa, L. R. (2023). A librarian’s dream helps turn a waiting area at Cook County Jail into an educational nook for children who visit the incarcerated. Chicago Tribune.
Styslinger, M. E., Gavigan, K., Albright, K. (2017). Literacy Behind Bars: Successful Reading and Writing Strategies for Use with Incarcerated Youth and Adults. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
Ownes, D., Tadgh, C. (2015). Tech Pilots in Juvenile Facilities Support Skills. Library Journal 140, no. 4: 25.
Maps and lists of the institutions, regional offices, a headquarters, staff training centers, and residential reentry management offices administered by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The Bureau also administers contracts with private corporations to operate additional correctional institutions.
Law Libraries Serving Prisoners is an online version of the print "Directory: Law Libraries Offering Services to Prisoners." The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), Social Responsibilities Special Interest Section, Standing Committee on Law Library Services to Prisoners compiles the data.