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Information Studies
Year : 2014, Volume : 20, Issue : 2
First page : ( 67) Last page : ( 76)
Print ISSN : 0971-6726. Online ISSN : 0976-1934.

Inmates or information debarred? An overview of library services in prisons of Punjab (India)

Singh Nirmal

Assistant Librarian, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana-141 004 (Punjab), India; E-mail: nirmal02@yahoo.co.in

Online published on 11 June, 2014.

Abstract

Libraries play a crucial role in the education as well as rehabilitation of prisoners. India has one of the largest prison systems in the world housing more than 3.7 Lac prisoners in 1382 jails. The 26 jails in Punjab have 17821 inmates. The present study is aimed at an assessment of library facilities and services in the prisons of Punjab. The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions’ (IFLA) Guidelines for prison libraries and instructions in the Model Prison Manual for the Superintendence and Management of Prisons in India about library services to inmates are also discussed. Study revealed that despite the mandate in the Model Prison Manual, IFLA guidelines, and Draft National Policy on Prison Reform and Correctional Administration, prison libraries in Punjab are in a poor condition, leading to a situation in which the information needs and reading interests of inmates are not being met.

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Keywords

Prison, Prison libraries, Rehabilitation of prisoner, Library services, Model Prison Manual, India, Punjab.

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