NY state proposes letting jails shut law libraries

Posted at: 04/09/2013 9:50 AM
By: AP

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York corrections officials have proposed letting local jails across the state close law libraries used by inmates.

The state Commission of Correction says that could save each jail about $5,000 a year, though the 63 jails would still have to preserve prisoner access rights to legal materials.

That could be done through computer terminals with online access, similar to the approach in the state prison system.
Another alternative is submitting written inmate requests to nearby court libraries, the current practice of six small jails that have waivers from the library requirement.
Inmate advocates say the change will make it harder for unsophisticated individuals to do research without browsing law books, especially where they have to wait three days to see if specific requests to court libraries produce the documents they need.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)