What is Jail Library Service?
In existence since 1986, Jail Library Service is a cooperative agreement between the Monroe County Correctional Center and the Monroe County Public Library. MCCC provides the space for the library within the jail, as well as funds for books and other library materials. MCPL provides staff members to operate the library three afternoons and to maintain the collection.
Why provide library service to jails?
Library service helps ease some of the stress caused by incarceration and overcrowding, leading to a safer environment for staff and inmates. All parties benefit from Jail Library Service.
How often is it used?
In 2011, the Jail Library was visited over 3,500 times, roughly 70 patron visits per week. They checked out 15,674 items. Each inmate has access to library service about once every two weeks.
What types of materials are popular?
The Jail Library collection consists of approximately 6,000 titles, split roughly in half between fiction and non-fiction. Items for the collection are purchased with the materials budget provided by the MCCC in addition to items selected from donations to MCPL's Friends of the Library Bookstore. Specific items that are unavailable in the dedicated Jail Library collection can be requested by inmates from MCPL's general collection.
Inmates typically want the same blockbuster titles and high demand authors that are popular among other library customers. Even though many of the requests parallel the main library's clientele, there are some subjects, trends, and materials that hold particular interest for the jail population. The jail library collection has been developed to meet the recreational, educational, and informational needs of the inmates. Highly requested non-fiction subjects include recovery and substance abuse, reentry, bibles and other religious materials, test preparation, career resources, reference, parenting materials, health and fitness, and legal materials. Highly requested fiction genres include westerns, science fiction, urban fiction, horror, and mysteries.
How can I donate books?
Please make your donations to the Friends of the Library Bookstore, who in turn donates items to the Jail Library to meet the needs of that collection.
For more information on Jail Library Service or any of the services provided by Community Outreach, call us at (812) 349-3174 or use our contact form on the side of this page.