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Title:"Prison Libraries" in Japan: The Current Situation of Access to Books and Reading in Correctional Institutions
Author(s):Nakane, Kenichi
Contributor(s):De Angelo, Christina
Subject(s):Library and Information Services to Incarcerated Persons: Global Perspectives
Prisoners -- Books and reading -- Japan.
Libraries and prisons -- Japan.
Books and reading -- Government policy -- Japan.
Abstract:This article discusses the present state of access to books and other reading materials for inmates in Japan's correctional facilities. While no professionally managed libraries are provided at these facilities—which explains why the term Prison Libraries in the title of this article is placed in quotation marks—incarcerated persons have the opportunity to obtain personal books, magazines, and newspapers through purchase or gifts. The prison administration also provides a certain number of reading materials at various locations within the institution. These materials, however, are inadequate and do not meet the needs of the offenders. The author discusses the legal framework that specifies the right of prisoners to read and obtain information, as well as the limits imposed on this access. The article contains information obtained by the author from a recent survey of seven correctional facilities. The author includes recommendations made by various advocacy groups, including the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, for improvement of the "prison library" situation and concludes with several of his own proposals to establish professionally operated prison libraries, to develop better collections, and to enhance cooperation between correctional facilities and public libraries.
Issue Date:2011
Publisher:Johns Hopkins University Press and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Citation Info:In Library Trends 59 (3) Winter 2011: 446-459.
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
Rights Information:Copyright 2011 Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-03-18

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