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HelloKnox submitted by Frances Herzer

Did you know that while prisoners are incarcerated, they still maintain many of the same rights that anyone else has, though they may be restricted? As an example, inmates retain their Charter rights of freedom of conscience thought and religion, but they would obviously loose their freedom to come and go as they please.

Were you aware that literacy levels in prisons are far lower than that of the general population of Canada? Any book clubs or libraries that inmates may have access to go a far way to help with mental stimulation and helps create an opportunity to stay social.

Due to budget cuts and regulations many facilities vary highly on the materials available to inmates and studies have shown that many inmates in the Canadian system were information-deprived with limited materials available to them, meaning it was harder for them to obtain information that could be used to  possibly help educate themselves or help stimulate motivation. Most systems presently depend on volunteers to manage library services (if available) or run books clubs.

So, what can we do to help?

There is a program here in Vancouver called “Books 2 Prisoners” run by a community group who work with publishing houses and the general public to gather books and send them to prisoners at their request. Find out more about what they are looking for and how you can help on their website here