10 US prisons with impressive libraries

An intrepid reader sent in this link: 10 US Prisons with Impressive Libraries.


Novel approach: reading courses as an alternative to prison

A library trustee in Saskatoon who attended our CLA presentation sent this link along.
Novel approach: reading courses as an alternative to prison
In Texas, offenders are being sent on reading courses instead of prison. | The Guardian – July 21, 2010

Prisoner Correspondence Project

One of our newest committee members, Marcus  is about to become a penpal with an incarcerated individual through the Prisoner Correspondence Project –  he told me that they are interested in stepping up their outreach efforts into prisons across Canada and wish to connect with people or organizations that do work on the inside of the prison system.

Some information about the project:

The Prisoner Correspondence Project is a collectively-run initiative based out of Montreal, Quebec. It coordinates a direct-correspondence program for gay, lesbian, transsexual, transgender, gendervariant, two-spirit, intersex, bisexual and queer inmates in Canada and the United States, linking these inmates with people a part of these same communities outside of prison. In addition, it coordinates a resource library of information regarding harm reduction practice (safer sex, safer drug-use, clean needle care), HIV and HEPC prevention, homophobia, transphobia, coming out, etc. The project also aims to make prisoner justice and prisoner solidarity a priority within queer movements on the outside through events like film screenings, workshops, and panel discussions which touch on the broader issues relating to criminalization and incarceration of queers and transfolk.
The Prisoner Correspondence Project is a working group of the Quebec Public Interest Research Group (QPIRG) at Concordia University and an affiliate group of the 2110 Centre for Gender Advocacy.

If any other committee members are interested in this initiative, contact Marcus or the Prison Correspondence Project for more information.

Government failing aboriginal prisoners: ombudsman

Howard Sapers released a report last week entitled Good Intentions, Disappointing Results. The report is critical of the government and the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) saying that the federal government needs to take “urgent action” to improve support programs for native prisoners or face a potential crisis. “Today my message is clear — given the urgency of the situation, I call upon the service to do the right thing and immediately appoint a deputy commissioner for aboriginal corrections,” Sapers said in a statement.

Howard Sapers was appointed the federal Correctional Investigator in Feburary 2004. The primary function of the Office of the Correctional Investigator is to investigate and bring resolution to individual offender complaints. The Office as well, has a responsibility to review and make recommendations on the Correctional Service’s policies and procedures associated with the areas of individual complaints to ensure that systemic areas of concern are identified and appropriately addressed.

Sapers has been a Board Member of the Legal Resource Centre of Alberta Ltd. since 2007.

You can read his full report here: http://www.oci-bec.gc.ca/rpt/pdf/oth-aut/oth-aut20091113-eng.pdf

Crossposted at Blogosarus Lex.

Bookdrive for Pe Sakastew

The men’s healing centre in Wetaskiwin (Pe Sakastew) needs the following types of books:

A current set of encyclopedias, and dictionaries.
The complete “Left Behind” series by Tim LaHaye, Jerry B. Jenkins.   
The complete series by James Herriot.
How to books on Leatherwork; leather carving; wood work; making of native crafts; learn to play the guitar, drums (the drum sets), etc.
Books on health, nutrition, how the body works, nutritious meal planning and recipes (using basic inexpensive food).
How to budget, handle money, handle stress, safe workouts (gym, etc.), be a good parent.
Poetry books
Spy fiction
Mystery fiction
Books by Wilbur Smith, Zig Ziglar, Chuck Swindoll, Tom Clancy, John Grisham, Robert Ludlum.

If you have any of these books to donate – please let us know!

Federal Prison Library Survey

Kim Rempel from William Head Institution Library is trying to distribute a library survey to federal prison libraries. (He hasn’t had much luck with Edmonton Prison for Women – he was told that inmates are running the library.) Since I am the only member of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) Prison Special Interest Group (along with Kim), he’s asked if I could either do the survey or get someone to do it. The results are going to be presented at the Libraries in Canadian Prisons session at the CALL annual conference this May in Halifax. I will also be there.

Anyhow, here is the letter from Kim and the survey. Tanya, Laura and I are going to the prison tomorrow so we could fill out the survey ourselves with Cathee (the new prison librarian) unless someone else would like to do it.