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Libraries as Vehicles for Justice - Brooklyn Public Library + DESIS Lab Parsons

June 2021 - June 2022



"Since the 1970s, the United States has undertaken a radical experiment in policing and punishment which is closely tied to the ascendency of a neoliberal ideology of privatization, deregulation, eliminating public services and supports."

- Michael Carey - Director of Justice Initiative: Brooklyn Public Library

The Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) has progressively evolved from solely an information common to a hub and sanctuary for place-based community relations. To serve the patrons and families who are currently or were formerly incarcerated, the Justice Initiative unit was created within the BPL to provide a variety of different programs and services. However, the logistical and relational complexities of working to fill in systemic gaps within jails, the cultural stigma of incarceration, and the challenges of navigating the vast array of individual needs when exiting are a few of the challenges that strain the Justice Initiative staff and their constituents.

With the DESIS Lab at Parsons, a transdisciplinary research and design approach were initiated with the BPL to design place-based programs and services for and with formerly and currently incarcerated individuals.


Detailed artifacts and a case are soon to come.

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