Prisoners have a right to information.
2017-07-12T04:21:54Z (GMT) by
The ALIA Minimum Standard Guidelines for Library Services to Prisoners in 2015 states that everybody has the right to read, learn and access information, including prisoners. Prison libraries and librarians are essential to achieving this. Information professionals are ideally placed to advocate for this and to endeavour to close the information divide for an increasingly disadvantaged section of our community. In addition, to the information divide, prisoners are also becoming victims of the digital divide, with the use of the internet being banned for all prisoners in Australia and access to computers restricted to educational use only.
The prison population consists of a disproportionately high number of people with low literacy, indigenous Australians, people who have been abused as children and those suffering from mental illness. Studies have shown that crime and substance abuse is higher in those with low literacy and that recidivism (returning to prison) is reduced by educating prisoners.