Connections in Corrections

The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world -

- With 698 people per 100,000 of the national population. Michigan has the 10th highest incarcerated population among the states, at around 60,300 people.

Part of CADL’s outreach includes Connections in Corrections, a program where library staff send recordings of incarcerated people reading to their children and other loved ones.

My trip to Ingham County Jail allowed me to connect with these members of the community who are often underserved by library systems.

GettyImages-1133671169.jpgTo begin, we bring out a selection of books for various age groups: from classics like Charlotte’s Web and Goodnight Moon to newer titles like We Regret to Inform You. Then we let people choose books to send to the kids in their lives, whether they are children or grandchildren or nieces and nephews. Some write messages inside the books; others choose instead to record a short message of love and support using a recorder. If the book is shorter, they read it aloud.

The books and the recordings are then delivered to the children. “The most important thing,” we tell people who are nervous to read, “is that they hear your voice.”

If you’re interested in learning more about incarceration in the U.S., check out these books at CADL:



Seoung K., Public Services Librarian at CADL South Lansing