Wednesday, October 13, 2010

in other news...

"The American Civil Liberties Union is suing a South Carolina jail over a policy that prohibits inmates from having any reading materials other than the Bible."  The article on highlights actions that the ACLU is taking in an attempt to overturn the jail's Bible-only policy.  Publishers had been trying to send self-help literature and magazines to the prison, but starting in 2008, their attempts were thwarted.  The literature was either sent back, or seized.  An email was sent out by First Sgt. K. Habersham stating that "Our inmates are only allowed to receive soft back bibles in the mail directly from the publisher.  They are not allowed to have magazines, newspapers, or any other type of books."  The ACLU is attempting to overturn this policy, saying that it violates First Amendment rights.  "In addition to unspecified punitive damages, the lawsuit asks a federal judge to order the Bible-only policy halted and to let a jury hear the case."

Also in the news this week is the re-classification of a book at the Waukee Public Library.  The notes that "'The Notebook Girls,' a diary cataloging the real-life experiences of four New York City high school girls, will now be housed with the library's adult nonfiction collection."  This comes in response to a book challenge last month about foul language in the text.  The article also notes that the book originally "created a stir in the publishing world with its frank discussions about adolescent sex, drinking and drug use when it was released in 2006."

The book is a diary-style account of the lives of four girls living in New York.  Do we really expect it to be devoid of any sort of language or sexuality?  And if so, why would it be published if there was no public desire for books with such content?  There is obviously a market, so should we make the book disappear because it appeals to it's demographic?  I think not.


  1. What about the Koran, are Muslin inmates allowed that? Or the Torah? The Guru Grant Sahib? The Bhagavad Gita? The Book of Mormon...?

  2. Nope... none of those. Just the Bible. The other books are apparently considered inappropriate.