Prison Libraries: The Prose of Cons

Ask Jean Charbonneau what those who come to his library ask to read and he'll tell you True Crime is the most popular. His readers are prisoners but the fact that they're reading at all is proof to him that his work matters. In a world behind bars, the best escape was in a book. We follow Jean Charbonneau into that world.



Part Two of The Current

Prison Libraries: The Prose of Cons

One of the great escape stories of the Second World war took place in the war's last days at Colditz castle in Germany. British prisoners of war secretly built a glider in the attic of the fortress. It may seem impossible, but they were aided by a book they found in the prison library -- Aircraft Design.

Prison librarians may have the best of intentions in providing reading material for inmates -- but have to be aware that sometimes a little knowledge really can be dangerous. When a Montreal man answered an intriguing job notice in the U.S., he imagined prison would be a brand new world to discover. There were lots of discoveries, alright.

Freelance journalist Sarah Richards brings us a story about the confessions of a prison librarian. Her documentary is called, A Shelf Life.


Other segments from today's show:

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