South Carolina prison bans all books – Except Bible

The ACLU has been forced to sue the Berkeley County jail in Moncks Corner, South Carolina, to end the prison’s blatantly illegal policy that bans all reading material … except for the Bible. Inmates are allowed to have softback Bibles, but only if they are sent directly from the publisher. They can’t have Qur’ans, or even Prison Legal News, which carries articles about prisoner rights and legal news. And I’m sure you can imagine what the prison warden would say if a prisoner wanted access to a computer so he could check on what’s going down at MadMikesAmerica.

From the ACLU

Filed on behalf of Prison Legal News, a monthly journal on prison law distributed across the nation to prisoners, attorneys, judges, law libraries and other subscribers, the lawsuit charges that jail officials violate the rights of Prison Legal News under the speech, establishment and due process clauses of the First and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution by refusing to deliver copies of the journal and other magazines and books to detainees.

“This is nothing less than unjustified censorship,” said David Shapiro, staff attorney with the ACLU National Prison Project. “There is no legitimate justification for denying detainees access to periodicals and, in the process, shutting them off from the outside world in draconian ways.”

mark sanford south carolina prison bible
I’m Governor Mark Sanford, pass me that Bible so I can swear I wasn’t in Argentina


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Posted by on October 12, 2010. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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9 Responses to South Carolina prison bans all books – Except Bible

  1. Mother Hen

    October 12, 2010 at 9:49 am

    Actually, if they are trying to make the prisons a place of punishment, then I can think of no better way!

    This will be an easy win for the ACLU.

    • Holte Ender

      October 12, 2010 at 3:37 pm

      Hard core criminals could get a lot of tips out the Old Testament.

  2. Nikolai

    October 12, 2010 at 10:07 am

    I’m from AZ and I can’t STAND Sheriff Joe, but I really didn’t have a problem with him banning girlie mags from the county jail, as it’s not supposed to be “fun” while you’re in the slammer. But the Bible ONLY in this SC jail??? At least let them read Catcher in the Rye!

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  4. SagaciousHillbilly

    October 12, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    Do they have any notion of rehabilitation? Kinda hard to become anything but a dumbed down version of what you went in as if you don’t have reading opportunities.

    • Holte Ender

      October 12, 2010 at 11:22 pm

      Rehab is not part of their thinking, locking people up is.

  5. C.H. McDermott

    October 12, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Nothing to read but The Bible? That’s my definition of hell–a real boring one at least.

  6. lazersedge

    October 12, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    Probably the only book the sheriff knows exists and he can’t even read it. Southern sheriffs are not known for their intellect you know.