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Social Justice Reading Club

Discussion Materials

Reading Behind Bars by Jill Grunenwald
E-Reserve link to: Chapters 2 & 3. The password is socialjustice.

"Reading While Incarcerated Saved Me. So Why Are Prisons Banning Books?" by Christopher Blackwell
(New York Times, August 17, 2022)

"Prison Librarians"
Beyond Prisons Podcast

Restricted Reading Podcast
Episode 1: "Challenging Prison Reading Restrictions," David Fathi, Director of National Prison Project, ACLU
Episode 3: "Accessing Information While Incarcerated," Michelle Dillon, Books to Prisoners, Seattle
Episode 4: "Navigating Prison Reading Guidelines," Jodi Lincoln (Book Em/Pittsburgh Prison Book Project)


SJRC Lunch & Panel Discussion
Friday, October 27th 12:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Gumberg Library, 5th Floor
Our panel speakers will include Jill Grunenwald, former prison librarian and author of the book Reading Behind Bars; Jodi Lincoln from Pittsburgh Prison Book Project; and Dana Neacsu, Director of the Duquesne Center for Legal Information (DCLI). Lunch will be provided.

“When free people, through judicial procedure, segregate some of their own, they incur the responsibility to provide humane treatment and essential rights. Among these is the right to read and to access information. The right to choose what to read is deeply important, and the suppression of ideas is fatal to a democratic society. The denial of intellectual freedom—the right to read, to write, and to think—diminishes the human spirit of those segregated from society.” Jeanie Austin, Prisoners' Right to Read: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights

Direct access to New York Times article (Multi-pass not required)






Prison Libraries in the Media
Orange is the New Black
Netflix, 2013-2019
The Shawshank Redemption
Columbia Pictures, 1994