The JSTOR Access in Prison initiative provides learners at correctional facilities with either direct, mediated, or offline access to JSTOR’s library of scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles and academic materials, enabling students to make the most of their education and develop valuable information literacy skills. We’ve worked with more than 500 DOCs and higher education providers on two continents to bring JSTOR access to more than 250,000 people who are incarcerated, and we continue to expand. There are no fees associated with providing JSTOR in correctional facilities.

Access options

To adapt to varying security needs, we’ve created access options that suit different requirements, even within the same facility.

Direct Access

Full JSTOR – This version of JSTOR most closely mirrors the academic experience at a traditional college campus. Students access the full text of JSTOR content without individual manual review of each article once is whitelisted. External links on the JSTOR site will not work unless whitelisted by the facility and cannot serve as a gateway to internet browsing.

Mediated JSTOR – Students gain access via an internet connection to a version of JSTOR hosted at This modified version is designed to meet the unique needs of incarcerated learners while incorporating a correctional facility’s media review policy. All external links are disabled and the site does not serve as a gateway to internet browsing. The facility will need to whitelist the JSTOR URL and provide access to computers, laptops, tablets, or devices with access to the approved website.

DOCs interested in the direct access version of JSTOR can participate in a trial version to allow IT staff to evaluate the site’s ability to meet facility whitelisting protocols while DOC staff review the licensing agreement.

Offline Access

We have created an index of the 500,000 most frequently cited journal articles across academic disciplines that correctional sites and higher education programs can download or access through a flash drive (available by request). Designed to work in minimal tech environments, the offline index allows students to browse the titles and submit a manual request for the full articles. The college or university library then fulfills the requests by printing and delivering the articles to the student. The system can be set up in an offline computer lab or housed on students’ computers.

Interested in bringing JSTOR to your facility?

We encourage DOC employees to reach out to discuss the needs and goals of their facility. Hundreds of facilities in the United States have implemented at least one version of JSTOR inside, and our team is experienced in finding solutions that can work with the facility’s available resources. Some sites have fewer than five students using JSTOR in an education program, while in other cases entire systems with more than 30,000 people are using it.

To get started:

  1. Set up a consultation with us
  2. Review and fill out the institutional participation agreement form
  3. Identify the devices and IP addresses for the online versions
  4. If using the mediated version, designate the content reviewers and schedule a demo with the JSTOR Access in Prison team to ensure administrators are comfortable with the technology
  5. Designate a live date