Tracking COVID 19 in Jails and Prisons

Covid-19 Behind Bars is an independent investigative effort to track reports of COVID-19 inside of jails and prisons.  It utilizes information from published sources alongside self-reports from people inside to map the spread of COVID-19 in carceral institutions.

Here is the map of North America as of 4/2/2020.  Blue pins are published reports, orange pins are self-reports of cases inside.


More information about the project is available at


Publications on Jail and Prison Libraries, 1992-Present

I have been conducting a literature review of publication on American jail and prison libraries as a follow-up to the timeline of library services to incarcerated people.  The list below, while potentially not comprehensive, includes publications on this topic from 1992 through the present.

About the list: I prioritized peer-reviewed articles while assembling this list, but did include a few instances of more popular texts.  Two special issues on this topic appeared in the time frame examined (a special issue of Education Librarian in 2000 and a special issue of Library Trends on Library and Information Services to Incarcerated Persons: Global Perspectives in 2011).  The list also includes books, briefs, and chapters, all marked with an *.  All items are listed in chronological order.  (Please note: this list does not contain publications on library services in juvenile detention centers or personal accounts written by librarians in jails and prisons.)

Please feel free to contact me if you notice there is something I’ve missed!

Continue reading “Publications on Jail and Prison Libraries, 1992-Present”

Open Access Article: Information Provision and the Carceral State

The Reference Librarian and Taylor & Francis will be providing free access to the article I recently published with Dr. Melissa Villa-Nicholas.  You can access the article at through December 31, 2019.

Title:  Information Provision and the Carceral State: Race and Reference beyond the Idea of the “Underserved”

Abstract: This article addresses an approach to library services for people who are incarcerated that meets the situated information needs and desires of people within jails and prisons. By creating a flow of information between LIS students and individuals who are incarcerated through a Reference by Mail program, resources available to incarcerated people are increased while students engage in a humanizing and self-reflexive project, with the understanding that the regulation of information within jails and prisons has lasting effects for the life chances of incarcerated people.