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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 228378 Find in a Library
Title: Prison Library Primer: A Program for the Twenty-First Century
Author(s): Brenda Vogel
Date Published: 2009
Page Count: 296
Sponsoring Agency: Scarecrow Press
Lanham, MD 20706
Publication Number: ISBN 978-0-8108-5403-1
Sale Source: Scarecrow Press
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200
Lanham, MD 20706
United States of America
Type: Overview Text
Format: Book (Hardbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This book identifies and provides guidance for addressing the unique challenges facing the prison library as a necessary resource for addressing the literacy and job-readiness needs of inmates in their quest for a successful reentry into society after their release.
Abstract: The first chapter reviews the history of prison libraries from 1798 to 2000, followed by a chapter that compares the correctional library to other publicly funded libraries in the United States. It advises that the prison library must focus on the needs of the community it serves, just as does a community-based library. The third chapter provides guidance on the design, furnishings, and equipment for a prison library. The main recommendation is that the library be in a location central to the housing units. The fourth chapter addresses the constant efforts to censor titles and ban formats in a prison library. The U.S. Supreme Court is noted to have made it difficult for prison libraries by upholding a Pennsylvania Department of Corrections ban on newspapers and magazines in a long-term segregation unit as a legitimate form of deprivation for the purpose of behavior modification (Beard v. Banks, 2006). The fifth chapter follows up by examining the evolution of prisoners’ right to access the courts and how this impacts the correctional library. Suggestions are offered for maintaining a law-library collection within the general library. Chapter 6 takes the issue further by discussing the “jailhouse lawyer” (an inmate expert on prisoners’ rights and the legal process) as a complement or alternative to a law library. Issues addressed in subsequent chapters include networking with other prison librarians and community-based librarians; guidelines for integrating the Internet into library services; security issues that may affect prison library operations; integrating library services with rehabilitation objectives; and education and training for correctional librarians. Chapter notes, 5 appendixes with supplementary guidance, and a subject index
Main Term(s): Correctional facilities
Index Term(s): Educational benefits; Inmate treatment; Jailhouse lawyers; Libraries; Prison libraries; Prisoner's rights
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