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Prison Libraries: Good Manners Seldom Hurt Your Cause

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For prisoners, the library as lifeline, by Dan Rodricks, Baltimore Sun, Feb. 7, 2010

‘… Was she scared to be among men who had murdered and raped?

“No. They behaved more respectfully than many of the persons I encountered in public libraries. They were also grateful for the reading materials and for any questions that I answered.

“In a way, the library was their lifeline. They escaped through reading, and the knowledge they gained became a sort of power base.”

Many who are within a year or two of release use library services to prepare for re-entry — to get their GED, to improve their vocabularies and language skills. The recidivism rate in the United States varies, from 50 percent to as high as 67 percent in some states, and there are two main reasons for that level of failure: the employment challenge facing ex-offenders on the outside and the lack of preparation for re-entry on the inside….’ (link to full article)

Thanks to Library Link of the Day for the lead.

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