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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Advocacy Really Can Work: Prisons Reverse Book Ban

According to the New York Times, our efforts to reverse a religious book ban in the US Prison system was successful.

Facing pressure from religious groups, civil libertarians and members of Congress, the federal Bureau of Prisons has decided to return religious materials that had been purged from prison chapel libraries because they were not on the bureau’s lists of approved resources.

I first wrote about the ban here and then provided actions here. Unfortunately, the US Prison Bureau still wants to create a list of approved books, but will allow books to remain on the shelves until the lists are completed.

“The bureau will begin immediately to return to chapel libraries materials that were removed in June 2007, with the exception of any publications that have been found to be inappropriate, such as material that could be radicalizing or incite violence. The review of all materials in chapel libraries will be completed by the end of January 2008.”

Great work to everyone who took action against this unconstitutional policy. There will be more work ahead to ensure that any "book list" doesn't limit religious freedom.


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