Outreach Resources for Services to Incarcerated People and Ex-Offenders

Library services for the incarcerated provide opportunities for reading and access to information for adults and juveniles confined to federal, state and county institutions and to facilities operated by private, for-profit contractors. In 2008, well over 2 million Americans either convicted of a crime or awaiting trial were held in prisons, detention centers, jails, juvenile halls, work camps, forensic facilities or hospitals for the criminally insane. An unknown number of non-citizens convicted of crimes or waiting to be deported were confined by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency in county jails or in privately operated detention centers.

Every year, more than 650,000 incarcerated adults become ex-offenders upon their release from these facilities. As they return to their home communities, they need library and information services designed to assist in their successful readjustment to society - and to ameliorate the impact of their confinement.

Serving Incarcerated People & Ex-Offenders: ALA Resources

OLOS Columns Blog: Stories from the field, bibliographies, and other items
Facts About Prisons and Prisoners (.pdf)
Prisoners Re-Entering the Community (.pdf)

More Resources

A Shared Sentence: The Devastating Toll of Parental Incarceration on Kids, Families and Communities
Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2016

Books Behind Bars: Is Correctional Librarianship a Job for You?
Justine Johnson, North Carolina Central University, 2009

Select Readings about Prison Libraries and Advocacy Resources for U.S. Prison Librarians and Prisoners
Brenda Vogel

Prisoners in the Legal System: A Selective Bibliography
Margaret Moreland and Stacy Etheredge, 2008

Criminal Justice Resources: Prisoners' Rights and Resources on the Web
By Ken Strutin, JD, MLIS, 2006

Selected links for library service to incarcerated people

Juvenile resources
Family resources
Resources for library service to ex-offenders


Questions? If you need more information on ALA’s resources for library service to incarcerated people and ex-offenders, please contact ALA’s Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services at 800.545.2433, ext. 4294, or diversity@ala.org.