Submissions:2024/Wikipedia Belongs in Prisons

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This submission has been noted and is pending review for WikiConference North America 2024.


Wikipedia Belongs in Prisons

Type of session:

Lecture (15-30 min)

Session theme(s):

Diversity & Inclusion, Education, Partnerships, Wild Ideas


The U.S. prison system grapples with limited access to educational resources and challenges with rehabilitation. Our initiative aims to integrate Wikipedia as a tool for education, leveraging its vast repository of knowledge. By providing incarcerated individuals with access to diverse educational content, we seek to foster a culture of learning, develop critical skills, and enhance rehabilitation and readiness for re-entry into society.

Our approach involves developing a standalone Wikipedia app specifically for use on prison tablets. We will partner with correctional facilities, technology providers, and educational programs to establish secure and monitored access to Wikipedia. To ensure the appropriateness of the content, we will implement filtering mechanisms that restrict access to inappropriate material while maintaining educational integrity.

Key partnerships will be crucial for the success of this initiative. JSTOR will leverage its existing infrastructure and knowledge to facilitate access to Wikipedia. WikiBlueprint will be responsible for developing and deploying the necessary technical infrastructure to provide secure access. The Wikimedia Foundation will provide the project with brand and partnership guidance.The Departments of Corrections will play a pivotal role in approving and overseeing the initiative, addressing any security concerns that arise.

This initiative is significant as it promotes education as a fundamental human right, and supports the rehabilitation of incarcerated individuals. This efforts will not only highlight the importance of educational access in prisons but also hopefully inspire similar initiatives, advance social justice, and foster community support for prison education programs.

Author name(s):

Jake Orlowitz

Wikimedia username(s):


E-mail address:

Affiliated organization(s):


Able to attend without scholarship?


Estimated length of session


Will you be presenting remotely?

Okay to livestream?

Livestreaming is okay

Previously presented?

Special requests: