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
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.