Prison/Jails Outreach

CCLS support of correctional librarians and library programs


Libraries support surrounding communities and work to break down any barrier between community members and information.  Supporting correctional libraries support inmates and encourage successful re-entry into the community. 

According to NY State Law, the public library systems administer are to offer system’s resources available to libraries in correctional facilities.  Each year CCLS and the respective correctional librarian along with the Deputy Superintendent renew the service agreement by means of the Annual Authentication of Negotiation.

 The purpose of the program is to supplement library services and resources for inmates in State correctional institutions by providing inmates with broader access to library materials, services, and the statewide library network.

Currently, CCLS supports 1 Prison and 2 county jail libraries. Through NY state funding, CCLS is able to offer ILL services to all three correctional libraries.

Special Formats: Assistance with access to library materials in alternate formats, including Braille, large print, recorded, and digital format for people with print-related and other sensorial disabilities is provided by the public library system.

Collection Development: Support the correctional facility librarian to purchase all types of library materials that supplement the collection of the correctional library. Reader’s advisory resources; user needs assessment of the educational, cultural, and recreational needs of inmates; facility directives such as treatment or transition/re-entry; and resources for new readers or non-English readers ensures that the most-needed materials are purchased for long-term loan to the facility.

Consultant Services: System consultant services may include: training programs, reading lists, identification and location of vendors for specialized materials, assistance with effective use of system resources, assistance with program development, workshops for inmates, exhibits, advice on library management, operations, copyright compliance, etc.

Special Programs: Member libraries have donated children’s books to support a reward system in the prison. This program enables a recording of a read-out-loud to be sent to families so the children can enjoy the story.

Coming soon: Resources learn more about how libraries can impact inmates and life of the incarcerated.