Libraries in Prison … a Pleasurable Escape to Rehabilitation

By Ayah Nimer Sharif
Groundbreaking research papers have already proven the vital importance of standardized services & facilities that expose prison inmates to the drastically external changing environment. Educational facilities run a pivotal role through allowing prisoners to access adequate, timely and relevant knowledge.
Knowledge is the heart of the world’s development. As we all know, the ultimate purpose of a prison’s concept is to change a person’s caliber with the encouragement of letting them reveal the best versions of themselves; here comes the absolute necessity of enabling prisoners to access information that help them in expanding their knowledge despite the fact that they are completely isolated from the outside world.
As a comprehensive way to attain the previously mentioned, the Lebanese Ministry of Culture in-collaboration with the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities took on the lead to reform and restore a library at the “Barber El Khazen” prison in Verdun. The happening of this initiative is a pilot in hope of making the steps of an on-going project that aims at establishing libraries in all prisons all across the Lebanese regions.
The importance of such event is not restricted to the prisoners only but to the entire Lebanese society. In this regard, we highlight on the 7 core amazing effects of restoring libraries at the Lebanese prisons:

1. Prisoners who are exposed to education facilities have a minimal risk of ending back at jail.
Studies have shown that education helps to eradicate or minimize the rates of recidivism. Libraries at prisons play a crucial role in terms of addressing this subject matter; with prisoners’ easy access to books, educational programs and some computer trainings they are more likely able to rehabilitate and adopt a better socially accepted behavior.
2. Prisoners who access libraries in prisons expand higher literacy rates than those who do not.
We can never deny the fact that libraries are places where people go to expand their minds and boost their knowledge.
3. A library provides the prisoners with the opportunity of spending quality time. It offers a prisoner the opportunity to read, study, and hopefully learn.
4. Spending time at the library develop the prisoner’s self-confidence and self-worth.
after acquiring new skills and knowledge.
It has been proven throughout history that reading and writing while being in prison, helped prisoners to understand themselves and enhance their self-awareness, legitimate their inner voices and boost their self-confidence entirely.
5. Library access helps prisoners to be learn and be aware of their legal status, rights and duties.
In some western countries, a number of prisoners have earned law degrees while in prison, while others took advantage of their own acquired knowledge and information to successfully get their convictions overturned.
6. Having access to a library in prison helps in improving the prisoners’ emotional and mental well-being.
Reading or learning is a pleasurable escape from the monotonous and violent reality they are involved in. Books help them in gaining new inspirations, inner-peace, constructive ideas, and wider perspectives on how to reintegrate with the outsider community smoothly and with minimal hardships.
7. A library is a tool for the rehabilitation of the prisoners.
A library plays a crucial role in the process of changing a prisoner from a career criminal to an upstanding and civilized citizen. It smoothness their rehabilitation procedure effectively and efficiently and constitutes a gateway for future opportunities.

We hope this blog would spread awareness on the importance of having libraries in prisons. If you have further insights on the impact of libraries in prisons, please take the lead and comment below.

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