Criminal Justice Program Resources

We have compiled resources to help you learn about criminal justice through reading lists and audio recordings.

As we have explored criminal justice, we have held public events and asked court-involved youth and adults, along with their families, to share how mass incarceration has affected them. Along the way, we have also invited the broader community to join the conversation with us as we discussed criminal justice topics like the school to prison pipeline, Ava Duvernay's film 13th and bail reform, among other things.

Legal advocates have also helped the library share information about criminal justice via social media. Our closing event for the criminal justice series was community curated and designed to help people consider the ways that libraries can help us imagine a world without prisons, to the extent that doing so frames a conversation about building a world where people and communities are whole, healthy, inclusive and interconnected.


  • Abolition
  • Alternatives to incarceration
  • Consent Decree
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Legal Financial Obligations
  • Mass Incarceration
  • Police Brutality and Fatalities
  • Restorative/Transformative Justice
  • School to prison pipeline

Criminal Justice Program Podcasts

These recordings are part of a yearlong project that a team at the Library has undertaken, focused on court involved and formerly incarcerated patrons. The major project the team embarked on was listening to different people and organizations sharing about their experience and work in this field, as well as some of the challenges facing people when they are involved in the court system or released from prison - and along the way the team also heard a lot about the struggles families and communities face while their loved ones are incarcerated.

Resources for the Formerly Incarcerated

Along with local organizations, The Seattle Public Library offers court-involved individuals—and their families—information and resources to help during and after incarceration.

Criminal Justice Statistics