Emanuela Costanzo

The library in prison. When reading becomes a necessity

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Professional Training of Prison Librarian; Inter-Institutional Partnerships; Rehabilitation of Offenders and Ex-Offenders.

The article outlines the background to the growing public recognition of libraries in prison in Italy. This process set out in the late 1990s, when the Chair of Library Science at the University of Milan started a study on the subject; within 10 years, the Association of Prison Libraries was established, following the example of international library institutions. The efforts of Italian librarians who, over the years, have worked in prison contexts went through a number of twists and turns, until the collaboration with the Department of Criminal Justice (Ministry of Justice) became established, and eventually led to the signature of the "Memorandum of Understanding for the promotion and management of library services in Italian prisons" in 2013. The underlying awareness is that reading in jail is a right which cannot be renounced, if the time spent in prison is to become an opportunity of rehabilitation that cannot be denied to anybody.

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