Prisoners’ Use of Media, US about 2003

face of a prisoner

Time spent reading and time spent watching television per person, prisoners compared to the general population, U.S. about the year 2003. Media use frequency and types of information sources.

Prisoners have long had controlled access to books through prison libraries. Prisoners were provided controlled access to radio and television developed after these media technologies developed. About 2003, prisoners in the U.S. were spending about the same amount of time watching television as were non-prisoners. But prisoners were spending seven times more time reading compared to non-prisoners.

This dataset provides statistics on prisoners media use in comparison to non-prisoner media use. The U.S. Census Bureau’s American Time User Survey provides data on non-prisoner time spend reading and watching television. The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics surveys of inmates in state and federal prisons and local jails include questions on time watching television and time reading. The 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literary encompassed both prisoners and non-prisoners. These are the primary sources for the statistics in this dataset.

Dataset sheets:

  • media-use summary: availability of television, time spent watching television and reading per person, prisoners (inmates) compared to non-prisoners
  • media-use frequency: frequency of reading books, newspaper, and letters or notes, by English as native language
  • info sources: media information sources, prisoners compared to non-prisoners
  • state & fed, 2004: raw media use statisics from survey of prisoners, 2004
  • jails, 2002: raw media use statistics from survey of jail inmates (prisoners), 2002

Related datasets:

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