Curling up with a good book on a cold day was one of my favorite pastimes growing up.mine audible Account has been exercising lately as I go for a daily walk. Currently, I’m going through Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Lifewhich is absolutely fantastic.
Reading is such an important part of life because there’s no better way to continue your education. But, it’s also a great way to entertain yourself. From textbooks to cheesy romance novels, reading is a great way to pass the time.
Most of the things you experience in the free world are nothing like what you experience in prison. However, reading is a bit of an exception. If you can get your hands on a good book in prison, it can pass the time and help you escape to another world for a few hours each day.
Which leads to today’s blog post: Can You Read in Prison?
In this blog post, I will cover the following topics:
- Can prisoners bring books to solitary confinement?
- What is a prison library like?
- Can I send books to inmates?
Can prisoners bring books to solitary confinement?
First, to answer today’s blog question: Yes, you can read books in prison. When you’re in the general population, you can get books from the prison library, or you can have your friends and family send you books by mail.
However, you are usually not allowed to bring any personal property with you when you go to solitary confinement. This means that any books your friends and family send you must be locked away while you are in the cave.
Solitary confinement is an extreme form of punishment. Think of it like being in a prison within a prison. I know some prisons will allow you to pick a book or two from the prison library while in solitary confinement, but your options are usually limited to a few books sent to the isolation room by the library staff each month.
When you’re quarantined, you can’t access the prison library and borrow books like the inmates in gen pop do.
The rules on what is allowed in a solitary confinement cell vary from prison to prison, but I’ve heard that every prison allows a solitary prisoner to carry a bible with them if the prisoner asks.
What is a prison library like?
Prison libraries are similar to public libraries in that they offer different types of books and are organized under the Dewey Decimal system. However, prison libraries are physically much smaller than public libraries, and the selection of books is more limited.
Books in prison libraries are usually donated, but some facilities have small prison library budgets that allow them to purchase books for inmates to borrow.
Prison libraries also have a lot of censorship, so there are usually no books on the subject of sex and violence. The true crime and horror genres are also usually off limits. However, there are exceptions.
Categories offered by the prison library where I was imprisoned include education/self-improvement, biography, classics, and non-fiction. Fiction is available, but as I said before, it’s very limited. The most popular authors are Janet Evonovich and Stephen King.
The waiting list for new books can be as long as a year, since libraries only get one of each book.i remember the waiting list orange is the new black and lost lover almost two years.
We are allowed to check out up to three books at a time, and prisoners working in the library have priority for all new books.
Some prisons do have volunteer programs such as books to prison or Prison Book Project Because they understand how important books are to the educational, cultural and spiritual development of prisoners.
Can I send books to inmates?
One of the best things you can do for your prison inmates is to send them books. As I mentioned before, books are a great way to pass time in prison, but you might have a hard time finding a good one from the library.
One thing I should mention is that when you send your inmate a book, you have to make sure it is brand new and mailed directly from a supplier, like Amazon or Barnes & Noble. You cannot mail new or used books directly to inmates yourself. If you try to do this, they will be returned to you, destroyed or donated to your local public library.
Also, you can only send paperback books to your inmates, since hardcover books are considered weapons.
Most prisons have a limit on the number of books an inmate can have at one time. Where I was imprisoned, each prisoner was limited to 10 books. If you have more than these, you will have to mail them home or donate them to the prison library before you can get more books.
I read a lot in prison.I’ve been in jail so long that I read them all atlas shrugged and source Ayn Rand from start to finish. Both books are over 1,000 pages. And, crazy enough, I read both books in just a few months because I’m always bored.
It turns out that reading books plays a huge role in intimate healing. Prison literacy programs have been proven to improve inmate behavior and reduce recidivism rates. But, most importantly, books can offer incarcerated readers the same hope and connection that all readers in the free world have.
Do you think there should be strict rules about books in prisons? Let us know in the comments below.
Sources: Nine Things You Didn’t Know About Books In US Prisons Books Behind Bars: The Right To Read In Prison