Monday, September 10, 2007

Prison Libraries Purging Religious Books

Click on the title above to read an article in today's NY Times about the Justice Department Bureau of Prisons directing prison chaplains to purge libraries of all religion materials except titles found on an "approved list" that was developed, supposedly, by a committee of theologians at seminaries. Nobody know who, though, and the list is quite slanted and limited. Furthermore, once non-approved materials are removed, DOJ is not providing any money to buy new things from the approved lists.

There is a class action suit in Federal District Court, originally filed pro se by some prisoners. The New York firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison took on the case pro bono. They refiled it on Aug. 21 in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York. The court's website (use the link here) has a nice way of posting decisions of interest. Might be worth checking in from time to time. Can you say First Amendment?

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