The U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether states can make prison inmates’ access to newspapers and magazines conditional on their good behavior. Things being what they are in print journalism these days, we’re all for viewing newspapers as a reward, even if just for a captive readership. But who knew newspapers could also be so easily turned into lethal weapons? (Certain violent prisoners did, according to Pennsylvania’s executive deputy attorney general.)
The issue is serious. An inmate argued withholding his Christian Science Monitor violated his First Amendment rights; Pennsylvania argued that such rights-restricting “behavior modification” is OK as long as it’s for a legitimate reason and the alternatives are exhausted.
Posted by Rhonda Holman
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