Maryland Department of Labor Awarded $100,000 to Purchase New Books for State Correctional Facilities
Expanding Reading and Educational Opportunities for Inmates
BALTIMORE (December 19, 2019) – Maryland Department of Labor (Labor) Secretary Tiffany P. Robinson and Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) Secretary Robert L. Green today announced that Labor has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Maryland State Librarian’s Office. This grant will be used to purchase approximately $8,100 worth of new books for libraries at 12 of Maryland’s correctional facilities.
“It was an absolute pleasure to join Secretary Green at the Jessup Correctional Institution to present inmates with a brand new collection of books that they can use this holiday season and beyond,” said Labor Secretary Robinson. “Libraries at correctional facilities provide a variety of reading materials and services that give inmates the opportunity to enrich their lives and prepare for a successful transition back into our communities.”
Labor currently operates 12 full service libraries and four satellite libraries (including minimum and pre-release facilities) at DPSCS’s correctional institutions. These correctional libraries play a vital role in providing inmates with access to educational opportunities, recreational reading, legal references, and resources to aid in re-entry. All libraries are staffed by professional librarians, who are readily available to support inmates in their educational pursuits and transition back into Maryland’s workforce and communities.
"Education is a critical component in rehabilitation and reentry for inmates, and access to reading materials is a huge part of that component," said DPSCS Secretary Green. "We are thankful for this grant, and for the partnership with the Department of Labor to help make society safer by releasing inmates who are changed and educated and ready to become successful taxpaying citizens."
Reading materials were ordered in a variety of categories and genres to meet the broad range of literacy needs represented by the incarcerated community. Special assistance is available for those with vision and hearing impairments, so all inmates have the opportunity to use the resources available.
"The Maryland State Library is delighted to provide funding to enhance the number of books available to inmates in Maryland's correctional facilities,” said State Librarian Irene Padilla. “It is crucial that we provide each individual with the opportunity to develop the necessary lifelong learning skills required for success."
This grant from the Maryland State Librarian’s Office is made possible through funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ Library Services and Technology Grant. The Western Maryland Regional Library in Hagerstown was selected to administer the grant. The new books will be arriving at correctional facilities and become available for use by inmates throughout the month of December.
Correctional Education provides academic, library, occupational, and transitional services to incarcerated individuals in state correctional institutions. To learn more about Maryland’s Correctional Education programs and initiatives, please e-mail Labor’s Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning or visit the website.
About the Maryland Department of Labor
The Maryland Department of Labor is committed to safeguarding and protecting Marylanders. We're proud to support the economic stability of the state by providing businesses, the workforce, and the consuming public with high-quality, customer-focused regulatory, employment, and training services. For updates and information, follow the Maryland Department of Labor on Twitter (@MD_Labor), Facebook and visit our website.