Title

The role of libraries in offender rehabilitation

Presenter Information

Justin Head
Justin Head

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC 140

Start Date

17-5-2012

End Date

17-5-2012

Abstract

The United States currently has the largest incarcerated population in the world at approximately 2.3 million individuals. Of this population roughly 95 percent will be released from prison and will reenter society. With increasingly scarce resources due to budgetary constraints, correctional facilities are experiencing difficulties in providing rehabilitative programs for incarcerated populations. This reduction in emphasis on rehabilitation of inmates is leading to increasing rates of recidivism. This issue presents an opportunity for prison, public, and academic libraries to play an active role in facilitating the rehabilitation process. For successful rehabilitation to occur, it is important to address current juvenile and adult offender needs, by highlighting the ways correctional, public, and academic libraries can meet these needs through the programs and services they offer. To address these needs, current obstructions to offender rehabilitation must be negotiated, including the issues of censorship, access, literacy, and the changing nature of state and federal legislation. By addressing these issues, programming can be implemented increasing parolee attachment and utility to society. It is also important to investigate some of most innovative approaches taken by libraries today. Research evaluating many of these programs suggests that there is a need for more empirically designed programs to increase offender’s education, vocational training, and social control. New innovative programs addressing these issues have proven to be successful in reuniting ex-convicts with communities. It is important to use these existing models to develop national initiatives aimed at offender rehabilitation, thereby reducing the threat of offender recidivism in the future.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Mary Ellen Reimund

Additional Mentoring Department

Law and Justice

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
May 17th, 8:50 AM May 17th, 9:10 AM

The role of libraries in offender rehabilitation

SURC 140

The United States currently has the largest incarcerated population in the world at approximately 2.3 million individuals. Of this population roughly 95 percent will be released from prison and will reenter society. With increasingly scarce resources due to budgetary constraints, correctional facilities are experiencing difficulties in providing rehabilitative programs for incarcerated populations. This reduction in emphasis on rehabilitation of inmates is leading to increasing rates of recidivism. This issue presents an opportunity for prison, public, and academic libraries to play an active role in facilitating the rehabilitation process. For successful rehabilitation to occur, it is important to address current juvenile and adult offender needs, by highlighting the ways correctional, public, and academic libraries can meet these needs through the programs and services they offer. To address these needs, current obstructions to offender rehabilitation must be negotiated, including the issues of censorship, access, literacy, and the changing nature of state and federal legislation. By addressing these issues, programming can be implemented increasing parolee attachment and utility to society. It is also important to investigate some of most innovative approaches taken by libraries today. Research evaluating many of these programs suggests that there is a need for more empirically designed programs to increase offender’s education, vocational training, and social control. New innovative programs addressing these issues have proven to be successful in reuniting ex-convicts with communities. It is important to use these existing models to develop national initiatives aimed at offender rehabilitation, thereby reducing the threat of offender recidivism in the future.