Saturday, November 10, 2007

GOOD NEWS! Prisons Reverse Policy, Allow Christian Books

In an effort to prevent prisons from being used as breeding grounds for radical Islam, the BOP had planned to remove Christian books from federal prisons

From "On The Hill: Restricted Reading" by Pat Nolan, posted 10/30/07, at

In a move that might have been taken straight from Alice in Wonderland, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) recently announced a new policy that would severely limit prisoners’ access to religious books. That’s right. At a time when two out of three prisoners are arrested within three years of their release, the BOP wanted to restrict access to the one thing that consistently changes prisoners’ lives: faith.

The “Standardized Chapel Library Project” restricted each faith to materials from a list of 150 books selected by the BOP. The policy called for chaplains to remove all materials not on the list without any determination as to whether the content was harmful or dangerous. This policy forced the removal of many excellent books that have been donated over the years and that many inmates find helpful as they prepare to return home.

Fortunately, an outcry from faith groups from across the theological spectrum caused the BOP to halt this process and return the books to the chapel libraries. However, it is not clear whether this reprieve for religious books is temporary or permanent.

Read the whole article.