Brooklyn Public Library’s TeleStory Video Visitation Program A Process Evaluation

Overview

The Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) has taken on a number of functions adjacent to the formal criminal justice system, including reentry services and programs for the families of incarcerated people. One of those programs is TeleStory, an initiative by which families can use video equipment in the library to virtually visit a loved one who is incarcerated in a New York City Department of Correction facility. These visits provide a helpful supplement to in-person visitation, and they afford community members who are unable to travel to a correctional facility the opportunity to meet with loved ones nonetheless. This report details a comprehensive process evaluation of TeleStory undertaken by Vera researchers at the request of BPL staff.

Key Takeaway

TeleStory appears to be a very effective program that consistently meets its objectives and has a high degree of satisfaction among users. BPL has invested significant resources in training and staff development, all toward improving service delivery and staff buy-in.