JHA Testimony on Removal and Censorship of Books in Prison

Denying people access to materials that are both within their rights to have and important to rehabilitation, self-improvement and future success is illegal, unproductive and unjust and offends our most cherished democratic principles. As the Supreme Court has noted, ‘The State may not invade the sphere of intellect and spirit which it is the purpose of the First Amendment of our Constitution to reserve from all official control.’ Prison censorship that prevents prisoners from receiving suitable access to social, political, esthetic, moral, and other ideas, which are central to the development and preservation of individual identity, clearly violates the First Amendment.

Gary Ricke2019