Creating New Correctional Programs and Services in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

How to Cite

Anderson, J., Ness, N., & Sandoval-Hernandez, D. (2022). Creating New Correctional Programs and Services in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. International Journal of Librarianship, 7(2), 46–60.
Received 2022-03-02
Accepted 2022-09-18
Published 2022-12-15


This article explores the changed and changing COVID-19 pandemic programming implemented by Brooklyn Public Library and Queens Public Library's correctional outreach teams. Every program or service offered by the correctional outreach teams was required to change to meet the needs of the pandemic. Additionally, the libraries created two new services: Library Hub, a tablet program for people in Rikers Island jail complex, and Immediate Access, a technology and resource access program for people on parole. The article explains the new services, provides the findings associated with almost two years of providing these services, and presents insights and suggested best practices.


Austin, J. (2021). Library services and incarceration: Recognizing barriers, strengthening access. ALA Neal-Schuman.

Capers, K. M., Anderson, J. & Ness, N. (2021). Expanding library service in jails and prisons through hip hop, meditation, and creativity. In Garner, J (Ed.), Exploring the roles and Practices of libraries in prisons: International perspectives (Advances in Librarianship, Vol. 49), pp. 39-56. Emerald Publishing Limited.

Cloud, D. H., Ahalt, C., Augustine, D., Sears, D. & Williams, B. (2020). Medical isolation and solitary confinement: Balancing health and humanity in US jails and prisons during COVID-19. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 35(9), 2738-2742.

Eisen, L. (2017). Inside private prisons: An American dilemma in the age of mass incarceration. Columbia University Press.

Gross, C. (2020, April 6). With no plan to reduce population, inmates wait and hope they don’t get sick. Spectrum News NY 1. news/2020/04/07/with-no-plan-to-reduce-population--inmates-wait-and-hope-they-don-t-get-sick

Harris, A., Smith, T., Obara, E. (2019). Justice “cost points”: Examination of privatization within public systems of justice. Criminology & Public Policy, 18(2), 343-359.

Maisel, T. (2020, April 2). Probation officers stay active while keeping to social distancing in New York City. amNY. while-keeping-to-social-distancing/

New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. (n.d.). Suspensions, restrictions & cancellations in response to COVID-19. restrictions-cancellations-response-covid-19

NYC Probation [@nycprobation]. (2020, March 20). During this difficult time, FJC are here for you. Please reach out. You will find someone with guidance on immediate [Tweet; image of phone availability hours]. Twitter. 1241090186815197184

Penin, L., Staszowski, E., Bruce, J., Adams, B., & Amatullo, M. (2019). Public libraries as engines of democracy: A research and pedagogical case study on design for re-entry. Nordes, 8(2019).

Reisdorf, B. C., DeCook, J., Foster, M., Cobbina, J., & LaCourse, A. (2021). Digital reentry: Uses of and barriers to ICTs in the prisoner reentry process. Information, Communication & Society.

Waters, M. (2019, December 3). Free tablets for the incarcerated come with a price. The Outline.

Western, B. (2018). Homeward: Life in the year after prison. Russell Sage Foundation.

Williams, B., Ahalt, C., Cloud, D., Augustine, D., Rorvig, L. & Sears, D. (2020, March 26). Correctional facilities in the shadow of COVID-19: Unique challenges and proposed solutions. Health Affairs Forefront. forefront.20200324.784502/

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2022 International Journal of Librarianship


Download data is not yet available.