We hope these selections serve to educate and encourage a dialogue on topics of incarceration and the impact of mass incarceration on individuals, families, and communities.

The US Prison System and Prison Life by Duchess Harris

This title examines all aspects of prisons in the United States. It discusses the history behind US prisons, what life is like for inmates, and how prisons affect their surrounding communities.

Available formats: Book






America’s Prisons by Jack Lasky

What problems do America’s prisons face? Who is in America’s prisons? Are prisoners treated humanely? Do prison alternatives work? Providing uncomplicated answers to these complicated questions, this title takes a look at all sides before forming a well-rounded opinion. Readers will evaluate divergent viewpoints from reliable sources.

Available formats: Book





No Choirboy: Murder, Violence, and Teenagers on Death Row by Susan Kuklin

This title takes readers inside America’s prisons and allows inmates sentenced to death as teenagers to speak for themselves. In their own voices they talk about their lives in prison and share their thoughts and feelings about how they ended up there.

Available formats: Book






Incarceration by Erin McCoy

For as long as prisons have existed, people have asked what role they should play in our society. This book looks at prison conditions and the American criminal justice system to help readers gain a deeper understanding of how prisoners are treated.

Available formats: Ebook (Hoopla)






Teen Incarceration by Patrick Jones

Minority youth make up about one-third of the US juvenile population, yet they comprise two-thirds of the juvenile corrections population. Examine youth crime and learn about the juvenile justice system in this title.

Available formats: Ebook (Hoopla)






 Just Mercy: Adapted for Young Adults by Bryan Stevenson

Lawyer and social justice advocate, Bryan Stevenson, offers a glimpse into the lives of the wrongfully imprisoned and his efforts to fight for their freedom.

Available formats: Book






Hole in My Life by Jack Gantos

In this title the author relates how, as a young adult, he became a drug user and smuggler, was arrested, did time in prison, and eventually got out and went to college, all the while hoping to become a writer.

Available formats: Book






Accused!: The Trials of the Scottsboro Boys by Larry Dane Brimmer 

The Scottsboro boys found themselves facing one prejudiced trial after another, in one of the worst miscarriages of justice in U.S. history. They faced a racist legal system, all-white juries, and the death penalty. Larry Dane Brimner uncovers how the Scottsboro Boys spent years in Alabama’s prison system, enduring inhumane conditions and torture.

Available formats: Book





Lockdown by Walter Dean Myers

A tale of fourteen-year-old Reese Anderson, who has spent 22 months in a tiny cell at a “progress center.” Living in fear and isolation, Reese begins looking within himself to find a way out of the prison system.

Available formats: Ebook (Hoopla), Ebook (OverDrive by Media on Demand)






My Story Starts Here by Deborah Ellis

Based on original interviews, Ellis allows young people who have experience with the criminal justice system to tell their own stories.

Available formats: Ebook (Hoopla)






The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater

Sasha, a white teen, lived in the middle-class foothills and attended a small private school. Richard, a black teen, lived in the crime-plagued flatlands and attended a large public one. Each day, their paths overlapped for a mere eight minutes. But one afternoon on the bus ride home from school, a single reckless act left Sasha severely burned, and Richard charged with two hate crimes and facing life imprisonment.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (OverDrive by Media on Demand)





The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary by NoNieqa Ramos

Writing in a dictionary format, Macy explains the world in her own terms-complete with gritty characters and outrageous endeavors. With an honesty that’s both hilarious and fearsome, slowly Macy reveals why she acts out, why she can’t tell her incarcerated father that her mom’s cheating on him, and why her best friend needs protection . . . the kind of protection that involves Macy’s machete.

Available formats: Ebook (Hoopla), Ebook (OverDrive by Media on Demand)

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