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Prison Education: NPEP Library

Mission Statement

The NPEP Library at Northwestern University Libraries supports the educational mission and activities of the Northwestern Prison Education Project (NPEP) by enabling access to research materials and consultations with librarians, strengthening our collections in social justice, creating open access print and web publications, extending our suite of services to incarcerated students, and applying the ethics of librarianship to advocate for alternatives to policing, surveillance, and incarceration.


Research Support

We provide research and reference support for incarcerated students via correspondence and in-person consultations, enabling access to library resources such as scholarly books and articles, encyclopedia entries, poetry and artwork, case law, news stories, websites, and much more. This work is mostly facilitated through student access to our Research Request Form which you can download, view, and feel free to adapt.


Information Literacy

We provide in-person and correspondence-based instruction to incarcerated students on issues of information literacy—from understanding the internet to academic research—and work with instructors and tutors to create accessible guides and printable resources for NPEP courses.


Open Education Resources

We provide support and funding for the development of open educational resources (OER) from researching and recommending OER across all disciplines to collaborating on the production of original OER through the Affordable Instructional Resources initiative.


Digital Publishing

We provide the infrastructure and expertise in digital publishing initiatives to support the art and writing of incarcerated students including a forthcoming online journal dedicated to the creative writing, art, and other works of incarcerated students at both Stateville and Logan Correctional Centers.


Collection Development

We provide the selection of and access to publications and special collections dedicated to social justice relevant across all disciplines, the voices of the currently and formerly incarcerated, research on policing and prisons,  and new and future works on restorative, transformative, and community-based approaches to safety and justice.

Prison Library Resources


Thank you to the many library workers across the profession who have been doing and continue to grow this work. We would especially like to thank Dr. Jeanie Austin, whose work and writing in this area has been foundational and inspirational; our colleagues at Jackson College Library, whose support for the Jackson College Corrections Education Program deeply informed many of our services; and the NPEP Graduate Student Advisory Committee for all of their support in helping to get this project off the ground.

English & Digital Humanities Librarian

Profile Photo
Josh Honn
University Library, 2 East, Suite 2699A
(847) 467-4761
Subjects: English