In FY15, the Wyoming Department of Corrections had an average daily inmate population of 2,424, and was supervising 6,386 for probation and parole. The vast majority of these inmates will eventually be released back into their communities. When they are, they face multiple barriers to re-entry.
Local public libraries can help both prisoners and ex-offenders meet the challenges they face reintegrating into their communities. Libraries might collaborate with a local prison to bring programming behind bars, create a list of social service resources, or donate weeded materials. Here are some articles we’ve come across that may be of use:
- Offender Reentry and Community Resources — Lists compiled by the Wyoming Department of Corrections.
- Donating to the Wyoming State Institution Libraries — Five of Wyoming’s 13 institution libraries are prisons. They operate with limited budgets and may be able to use your library’s book donations.
- Programming in Prison Libraries — From Public Libraries Online, what prison libraries are doing to teach inmates lifelong skills.
- Preparing Inmates for Life After Prison — Example of a library program providing resources to those reentering the community.
- From “Prisoner” to “Returning Citizen:” Programs for Ex-Offenders — Programming ideas and additional links to help you tailor services to this group.
At the Wyoming State Library, Thomas Ivie works with the prison libraries to help them make the most of their library resources. Questions about prison libraries may be directed to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or (307) 777-6330.