Correction Outreach Services
Queens Public Library has provided outreach services to incarcerated populations for over 100 years, but with the introduction of the Video Visitation program in 2016, we now have a dedicated team of staff members that handles all matters in regards to justice-involved patrons.
Justice-involved patrons may visit the Central Library for assistance from the Correctional Outreach Team with obtaining a library card, receiving job skills training information (e.g., OSHA-30), technology workshops (e.g., Central Library Cyber Center, Queensbridge Tech Lab), and literacy programs (e.g., ESOL courses and HSE courses). There are also special workshops offered solely for the justice-involved on an occasional basis.
The Correctional Outreach Team also introduced the Queens Public Library Reentry Resources Guide to serve as a manual for patrons seeking help with their reintegration into society. With this guide, you will find information about in-house library services, as well as outside organizations that help with legal matters, health-related matters, continuing education, housing, and much more.
Video Visitation at Queens Library
Video Visitation is a program funded by the NYC Mayor’s Office and the New York City Council that allows families to have a one-hour video chat with their incarcerated loved ones. For days of operation, participating locations, and how to request a video visit, please see the Video Visitation webpage.
Library Service at Rikers Island
Library Service is offered to incarcerated patrons at two locations at Rikers Island Correctional Facility three days a week. Houses in these respective facilities (including a veterans unit) are visited by the Correctional Librarian, who offers a wide selection of reading materials on a mobile book cart for participants to choose from. If you would like to donate books to this initiative, please see the Correctional Services Book Donations webpage.
See You on the Outside
The Correctional Outreach Team has a program named "See You on the Outside" by its participants at the Queensboro Correctional Facility in Long Island City. The program aides in the reentry process by providing participants with a professional resume as well as case management services during their incarceration. Upon release from Queensboro, participants are instructed to meet with their case manager for a continuation of reentry planning. Participants will also receive a flash drive containing their editable resume, and an OSHA-30 voucher that proves they have successfully completed all prerequisites and may join the next available class.
Queens County Reentry Taskforce
Queens Public Library is an official member of the Queens County Reentry Task Force, which consists of various organizations in the borough of Queens that provide services that are beneficial to formerly incarcerated people. For more information, please visit their website.
NYC Parole and Probation
The Correctional Outreach Team extends all library services to both the Division of Parole and the Department of Probation at orientation sessions held at each location during the last week of each month. All justice-involved patrons may receive a library card application, as well as referrals to trainings, workshops, and programs offered at the Queens Public Library.
If you have any questions about these services, please email Kim McNeil-Capers, the Director of Community Engagement.