A History of Outreach in Queens

Queens Public Library has provided outreach services to the criminal justice system for over 100 years, beginning in 1915 with the prison traveling library station (pictured below). In 2005, we received an Exceptional Service Award from the American Library Association honoring our correctional outreach. With the expansion of Correctional Outreach in 2016, we now have a dedicated team that focuses on this essential work.

Contact the team to learn more about our programs and services.
Email to:reentry@queenslibrary.org


ID Assist

A program for people impacted by the justice system who are connected to Southeast Queens. We help you get an ID. This program is funded by Khaleel Anderson, state Assembly Member for the 31st District. For more information and to fill out an application, visit this webpage: https://www.queenslibrary.org/programs-activities/community-outreach/frmoutreach

See You on the Outside

Cleverly named by the program’s first participants at Queensboro Correctional Facility, "See You on the Outside" equips individuals preparing for reentry with a professional resume. Participants also receive a list of resources that are tailored to their previous work experience and skill sets and are encouraged to continue visiting with the Queens Public Library for personal assistance as they embark on their reentry goals.

Youth Justice Court

In partnership with Queens Defenders, we work with teens and youth to gain legal skills and leadership experience. We also accept referrals from the 101st Precinct. The Youth Justice Court program operates at these libraries: Cambria Heights, Central, Far Rockaway Library for Teens, Flushing, Laurelton, and Long Island City. For more information and to sign up, visit this webpage: https://www.queenslibrary.org/programs-activities/teens/other-programs/youth-justice-court.

Reentry Resource Guide

The Queens Public Library Reentry Resource Guide serves as a manual for patrons seeking help with their transition from a correctional facility. The guide highlights information about library services, as well as outside organizations that help with legal matters, health-related matters, continuing education, housing, and much more. See our guide.

Queens County Reentry Taskforce

Queens Public Library is an official member of the Queens County Reentry Task Force. The goal of the taskforce is to reduce recidivism by coordinating and strengthening community support in response to individuals transitioning from incarceration back into the community. More information.

Digital Connect: Technology Reentry Program 

The Queens Public Library equips people released on parole with vital tech resources.

Each participant will receive a smartphone that connects to online resources and services that assist with reentry, such as financial and transportation apps and the Library’s virtual programming. They will also receive a data plan, technology assistance, and job training that provides the information, skills, and resources needed to take important next steps.


Library Service at Rikers Island

In partnership with Brooklyn Public Library, we provide library services to patrons who are incarcerated at two Rikers Island Facilities. We provide an in-person rolling cart library service, along with virtual and by-mail reference services. If you would like to donate books to this initiative, please see the Correctional Services Book Donations webpage.

NYC Probation and NYS Community Supervision (Parole)

The Correctional Outreach Team extends library services to both the Queens Division of Parole and the Department of Probation during orientation sessions held at each respective organization’s location. Individuals in attendance can obtain a library card, referrals to trainings, and information on upcoming workshops and programs offered at the library.