An evidence-based approach to prison library provision: aligning policy and practice

Jayne Finlay, Susannah Hanlon, Jessica Bates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The aim of this paper is to enable a better understanding of the possibilities of
prison library services and offer evidence that can help to support efforts to align policy and practice in prison library provision. Alongside an examination of existing policies, guidelines and literature, the paper presents findings that emerged from interviews with six prison library experts, undertaken as part of a recent national review of prison library services in Ireland. Following a discussion of these findings, a set of ten principles for prison library provision in Ireland is presented which holds relevance for global prison library policy and practice. As well as providing research-informed evidence for those in policymaking roles, the findings will
be of interest to practitioners and researchers advocating for improved access to prison library services.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Prison Education Research
Issue number1
Early online date13 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished online - 13 Feb 2024


  • Prison libraries
  • prison policy
  • best practice
  • evidence-based practice


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