Monday, June 11, 2007

US Removes Religious Texts From Prison Chapel Libraries

A lawsuit filed by three inmates at a federal prison in Otisville, New York has exposed a new set of rules on religious texts in prison libraries. The Associated Press reported yesterday that the change stem from a 2004 review of how prisons choose Muslim religious service providers. That review grew out of concerns that Muslim inmates were being radicalized. The review led the Bureau of Prisons to conclude that prison chapel libraries were not being adequately supervised, and radical religious books might fall into the hands of violent inmates. The rules now limit prison libraries to between 100 and 150 titles for each religion. Many books previously in the libraries were removed-- Otisville inmates say 600 titles were withdrawn. The number of permitted religious books will be expanded when a new list is drawn up.