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Aug 24, 2011
Female user satnica 5 posts

Topic: Everything Education / Need to measure success of offender programs?

Librarian, thanks for your help.
In order to improving our prison libraries from the stage of “books on the shelves” to the level of “live” prison library, we need to make lots of efforts. Good examples worldwide are interesting, informational and inspiring, yes, but proposed models are not applicable in Croatian prisons due to very different judicial system. Not to mention the prison budgeting policy in our country.

Although this is only the beginning, we strongly believe that we will achieve the level of development and effectiveness, such as prison libraries in the Netherlands, Denmark or Germany, for example.
So, I decided that I will announce next time when I will be able to inform about the findings of our first pilot project guided reading in prison. Until then we can continue our conversation by email.

Aug 18, 2011
Female user satnica 5 posts

Topic: Everything Education / Need to measure success of offender programs?

Librarian, this debate is very much alive in our library circles, of course, on a theoretical level only, considering that in Croatian prison system PCs are not available to prisoners (not because of the censorship, simply, not provided through a budget). That is also the reason for the gap in computer literacy education programs, although the interest among inmates, particularly young, is very high.
I find interesting practical possibilities/substitutes mentioned in Shirley’s article: Shirley, G.L. (2004). Prison libraries and the internet. // Behind the Walls@ Your Library: Library Service in Prisons, 2. Retrieved March 22, 2008 from: http://www.ala.org/ala/olos/outreachresource/prisoncolumn2.cfm
As for the prisoners right to read, we have from the start accepted IFLA/UNESCO Guidelines for library services to prisoners (2005, 3d Edition), (2007 in Croatian).

Aug 10, 2011
Female user satnica 5 posts

Topic: Everything Education / Need to measure success of offender programs?

“How interested is the prison staff and prison authorities in the public library? Do you want to promote reading or research? Do you imagine the book for the guided reading would be fiction or non-fiction? "

Librarian, thank you for your interest and effort around the Croatian literature and the Homeland War. (In Dubrovnik was badly damaged old Archives.)

If you are interested, here is a link to the IFLA newest World report with the state of play in Croatian librarianship: http://archive.ifla.org/faife/report/41%20IFLA-FAIFE%202007%20CR%20-%20Croatia.pdf

As for your questions, in short, of course, prison authorities are interested in any form of a treatment program, which evidently leads to improvements in prisoner behavior, attitude change, and in the process of their rehabilitation, and ultimately, to reduced recidivism.

In that sense, there are no obstacles for partnership with public libraries, or other forms of art therapies. For example, in Croatian prison Valtura, near town Pula,professor Zejlko Brgles has been using the practice of yoga nidra with prisoners to bring about a transformation in their behaviour and to enable them to return to the community as physically, mentally and morally rehabilitated persons.

His data shows changes in the convicts’ behaviour and attitudes, with less aggression, anxiety and impulsiveness, and a general improvement in the social climate, interrelationships and communication between prisoners. Prisoners also reported feeling calmer, sleeping better, reduced insomnia, relief of tension headaches and a more positive attitude to their life in prison. (see in: Croatian review of rehabilitation research, ISSN 1331-3010).

I want to promote reading among the prisoners, yes, but I strongly want to promote establishment of regular, equipped and professional prison libraries, which today are not yet present in the prison system. The reasons are many, no money, no professional staff, no political will, and in fact, neither side (libraries or prisons) does not recognize their interest for increased engagement in order to make a change in the present bad situation.

However, it should be mentioned as a bright spot in the activities of Bibliobus of public libraries of town Bjelovar, who regularly visited the county jail. Statistics : prisoners read more than free users.

Librarian, as you say, I want to bring my world to you, so I have a question, is there a way for private communication with each other, of course, if you agree with that? I think the direction were our conversation is going will not be really interesting to others on this forum.

Aug 08, 2011
Female user satnica 5 posts

Topic: Everything Education / Need to measure success of offender programs?

Librarian, thank you for your response. I feel the need to emphasize two things. First, In Croatia, not a single educated librarian works in correction facilities. There is no work position prison librarian, and equally, there is no official education/training for prison librarians. Yes, there are libraries in prisons; (in fact, more proper term would be stationeries with printed materials), but library services are occasionally carried out by the inmates or someone from treatment staff. This pilot project of the guided reading is an attempt to establish cooperation between public libraries and prison staff, which would, hopefully, show that the library services can be used within the treatment programs. Further intention is to raise awareness of the importance of the modern, equipped and functional prison library and library services among the prison authorities, and among the librarian community in the same time. To put it simply, it’s two-direction advocacy. Secondly, to avoid confusion, Croatia library science and library system is highly developed, we study librarianship on University, even have doctoral degree, are librarians are active members of IFLA, EBLIDA professional bodies etc. Only, the prisoners are not in the focus of interest. I hope that my doctorate run developments/changes in this direction.

Aug 02, 2011
Female user satnica 5 posts

Topic: Everything Education / Need to measure success of offender programs?

Hello, my name is Zeljka. I am a librarian from the Croatia. Along with rehabilitation staff, I am just preparing a pilot project of guided reading and discussion in one Croatian prison, semi-open type. Has anyone experience with similar projects in your institution? I would appreciate any useful information. Thank you.

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