Monday, March 8, 2010

Prison Library Services

There is no clear cut answer to the questions I get about what prison libraries should provide. That depends on the states. Bounds v Smith mandated "access to the courts" for prisoners. , The law did not specify how access should be provided, so states had various interpretations. In mid 1990s with Lewis v Casey, many states watered down the legal services, with some providing the bare minimum that is legally required. Other states go beyond the minimum and provide services that model public libraries. Some prison libraries employ librarians with degrees in library sciences, others use teachers, correction officers, inmates to run their "library".

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