Prospects and challenges of prison libraries in Ghana: a case study of the Nsawam Medium Security Prisons

No Thumbnail Available
Owusu-Ansah, Christopher Mfum
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Library Philosophy and Practice
The study explored the provision of library services at the Nsawam Medium Security Prison in Ghana. Incarcerated people are confronted with isolation and are often faced with limitations of personal choices and quality decision making. Library services remain an important service in every society that values freedom. The prison library is one of the few places that offer solace and escape in the extremely regulated lives of prisoners. The report is the result of a study into the information needs of prisoners and the resources and services that are available for this special population. A total of 100 male and female prisoners sampled purposively were selected for the study. The study discovered that literate prisoners of all categories desire library and information services for academic, recreational and rehabilitative purposes. The study however suggests the Ghana Prison Service does not engage professional librarians to manage library services for prisoners of the Nsawam Medium Security Prison. It is also discovered that prisoners and officers alike believe information use could be an effective tool to ensure the restoration of inmates to a socially acceptable life outside of the prison walls. Suggestions made for effective and efficient library and information services for prisoners include development of a general academic collection, provision of civic and legal education for prisoners, engagement of professional librarians to manage prison library, reading promotion and collaboration with public library services to offer standard prison library services in a bid to achieve the rehabilitation goal of the prison.
Mfum, C. (2012). Prospects and challenges of prison libraries in Ghana: A case study of the Nsawam medium security prisons. Prospects, 8, 1-24.