Wednesday, January 30, 2008

She Likes The Rich and Famous

Female prisoners are very concerned about leaving their children and also about losing custody. Their information needs focus on custody issues. Many of them, however, visit the library to socialize, browse the magazines, and to borrow popular reading materials. Unlike male prisoners, they rarely research legal cases. This is because among themselves they will readily discuss and admit to the crimes that placed them in prison, while the men often claim they were incarcerated because their lawyer was ineffective.

The men do extensive legal research in order to go back to the courts hoping for reduced sentences. They women talk about reuniting with their children and gettng jobs.

On a visit to one of the institutions that houses females, I observed a woman looking for books by Ann Rule. There was only one title, so I questioned her about her interests in order to offer some alternatives.

She said she was only interested in books about the rich and famous because she admired them. "I like that lifestyle", she said. Then without missing a beat, she told me she scammed banks in 3 states, and had a lot of money to live the high life. " I will be out soon and plan to start a business in another country. Do you have any information on...? " I can't recall the country.

Did she want the information in preparation for scamming the banks in this country? I am not the library police. As the information professional, I pointed out the only source I saw on the shelf- The World Book, and told her to check with the institution librarian if she needed more information.

At least she was reading.


Earl said...

Yes, at least she was reading, moral changes will come when she is ready for a life not defined by consumer culture, and when she realizes it is up to her not to flout the rules. I am glad she goes to the library, but does the Robb Report get the circulation among women that it does among male felons?

Peggy said...

Earl what is the Robb Report?
Women prisoners complained that they were traditionally ignored. I dont think this is the case now- equal opportunity means more programs will have to be provided.


Peggy said...

Hi Earl have not heard from you about the Robb report