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Guild Objects to the Pennsylvania DOC Limiting Prisoner Access to Books

As part of a growing trend of restricting prisoner access to books and other publications, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections recently instituted a policy that bars prisoners from receiving books or any other written material directly from friends and family or organizations that donate books to incarcerated persons. Other than buying physical books through the DOC, books can only be read on tablets which must also be purchased through the DOC for $147, and books read on the tablet must be purchased through a sole vendor with a limited selection. This is an assault on the First Amendment rights of the prisoners and limits the free speech rights of authors to reach an audience of prisoners – individuals who might be particularly interested in certain topics such as prison criticism or reform. On October 19, 2018, the Guild sent a letter of protest.


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