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Library Services

Overview

Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) facilities have libraries, which provide library services to inmates. Those facilities without a library provide a level and variety of leisure reading material approved by the Assistant Director of Institutions.

The library staff coordinate and supervise library services, including assisting inmates to obtain information and reference services either from that library’s own collection or from the Oregon State Library.

The institution maintains a comprehensive variety of reading materials to reflect the varying interests, reading abilities, and language needs of inmates, and updates the materials regularly. The library has educational reading materials that supplement and support the facility’s education and treatment programs, working in conjunction with those areas.

Inmates in the general population have the opportunity to use the library in accordance with available space and supervision. Inmates in special housing status are provided library services in accordance with the Department of Corrections rules on Segregation (Disciplinary) and Intensive Management Unit.

Law Library Services

Per an Oregon Administration Rule (OAR), all inmates are provided the opportunity to access law library services, equipment, and supplies to prepare and file legal documents with the courts and paroling authorities. These services are offered on a prioritized basis, in accordance with the rules, and may vary by facility based on available resources, safety concerns, and operational needs.

When and how an inmate is allowed access to law library services depends on their particular situation. The library coordinator will consider some of the following when assigning priority:

  • Is the inmate a priority or general legal user?
  • Does the inmate have an imminent court deadline?
  • Does the inmate have assigned legal counsel?
Depending on the situation, an inmate may be allowed time to do legal research and to prepare legal documents in the facility law library or in the inmate’s assigned cell or living unit. Inmates have access to work space, legal research materials in either electronic or hard copy, legal forms, and in some cases, a legal assistant.

For more details information on library legal affairs please visit the Oregon DOC rule on Legal Affairs.

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