Prisons in most nations have libraries, though that service has radically changed in the last five years as budgets are cut and states shift to eBook readers (where contents can be changed or deleted and the reader’s activity can be monitored). These diminishing services are augmented in most countries by philanthropic books-to-prisoners programs. In the U.K., an attempt to forbid sending books to prisoners in 2014 led to a public outcry and the successful defense of the prisoners’ right to receive books. Marta Bausells, then writing for The Guardian, covered the controversy by speaking to a handful of former prisoners, and one teacher in the prison system, about the books they read, how they got them, and what reading meant to them in prison. Here is what she found.
8 August, 2022