E-books in a Correctional Setting: a niche market

Excerpt from article at Corrections.com

I immediately saw the advantage of e-books in the prison setting. If each inmate could have a library of over 1,000 titles in one small e-book reader, it would cut down on hiding contraband among the books (such as sandpaper to erase their uniform logo), remove the unsanitary habit of reading books in the rest-room, cut down on repairing books (averaging 20% or over 1,200 books destroyed each year), free up space by limiting the 3 X 8 foot long bookshelves that only hold 640 books for 100 inmates in each unit, encourage struggling readers to listen to a book while reading the text on the screen, and, finally, allow anyone to increase the size of the font so LARGE PRINT will never be limited to a few titles!

Full article

Comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Not with my tax money!

Until E-readers are provided for public libraries, let the prisoners continue with their poor old volumes. They want to read e-books, don't go to prison!

"cut down on repairing books

"cut down on repairing books (averaging 20% or over 1,200 books destroyed each year)"

If they are destroying paper books at this rate why would you give them a $200.00 plus electronic version? Providing them the opportunity to purchase their own is a wonderful idea and then the library could provide the "books" for them to download.

Other niche markets

While I believe that the sentiment behind this idea is positive, I think that there are other niche markets that should take priority over a prison population.

For example, kids in elementary schools, older adults in assisted living centers, or John Q Public; just to name a few.

Like the first commenter, I don't want my tax dollars going toward serving a prison population that is incarcerated for a specific reason. That seems like mixing messages to me. Why would we reward an inmate in a setting that is meant to allow him/her to pay for a crime committed?

While I am all for educating folks and the free flow of information, I do not support giving ebooks to inmates.

wow. free ebooks: I'm commiting some crimes.

I think ex-cons get free cell phones so they can keep in touch with their POs, so why not a free ereader. free. free. free.

I pay taxes to support the library, but I don't get a free ereader. I pay taxes to support the corrections system, but I don't get a free ereader. I pay for schools, but no kid has ever offered to cut my grass for free, or read to me.

this will be considered a good idea until the first inmate removes the ereader screen, sharpens edge and cuts someone's throat with it. then they'll go right back to paper books. if there is no removable screen, the material used for a logic board is pretty solid and the corners could injure someone. let's see, how about using the highlight feature to send secret messages between prisoners? the back of the ereader is metal, so that could be a weapon. the battery can be used to power some electronic contraband. the wireless card or antenna could be modified to reenable wifi.

if there is a way to make a weapon or a communications device, or a way to hide drugs or money, a prisoner will find it.

it's great how this new thing will "eliminate" some problem, but nobody imagines the new problems it will create. but that's not their problem.

I worked a short time in a

I worked a short time in a jail library and the inmates weren't allowed hardback books because they could hurt each other or the gaurds with them.

wow

Jeez. Way to be compassionate, jerks.

"For example, kids in elementary schools, older adults in assisted living centers, or John Q Public; just to name a few."

Nobody said that these were bad ideas.

"I don't want my tax dollars going toward serving a prison population that is incarcerated for a specific reason."

I've got news for you, your tax dollars already do this whether you like it or not. I would imagine that you'd want to avoid having to pay to keep these folks in prison or put them back there (recidivism) by, I don't know, helping to rehabilitate prisoners while they are a captive (no pun intended) population.

I don't know where folks get this holier-than-thou idea that all prisoners are worthless scum who should be deprived of any and all opportunities to better themselves and come out of a bad situation with a better future outlook. This isn't a proposal to give them gourmet food and foot rubs, for god's sake.

Look down your nose at prisoners all you want, but unless you're willing to think creatively about what a prison is supposed to be then you're going to have to keep paying for more and bigger prisons that do little more than temporarily house inmates that will just come out and go right back in (which, of course, you'll have to pay for).

"free. free. free."

Or do you mean, "me, me, me" because apparently that's who you're thinking of.

Conclusion: Most inmates got to prison thanks to a bad situation, some bad choices and a lot of extenuating circumstances that they'd have had a hard (if not impossible) time doing anything about. How about we don't assume the worst about them and actually try to be compassionate? There are perfectly reasonable arguments against programs like this and I'd be happy to debate them, but if you're going to start off by demonizing all prisoners I hope your high horse breaks it's leg and has to be put down.

Syndicate content